“Blood is not bought and depends on the goodwill of people, those who know they have something that others don’t. If it could be bought, there would not be this concern, but it is a scarce asset that depends on solidarity”, said Cristina Neves, a doctor at the Immunohemotherapy service at CHUSJ.
Between January and July of this year, 12,334 donors were registered in that hospital, which compared to 2019, when there were 12,913, represents a drop of 4 percent.
In the same period this year, 9,243 blood donations were carried out, 9 percent less than in the year before the covid-19 pandemic, in which there were 10,103.
Speaking to Lusa News Agency, Cristina Neves said that the breaks are happening to because a “lack of solidarity”, but of the “fear” that many donors had to travel to the hospital facilities due to the covid-19 pandemic, especially after Christmas, period where the number of new cases of SARS-CoV-2 increased exponentially.
"All of this led to a decrease in donors and collections", she said, adding, however, that despite the fear, the patients who entered the hospital's emergency room "were in a debilitated state".
"In a period of pandemic, blood donation assumes an even more crucial role, because there is less to donate, less to spend because fewer patients come in, but when they do come in, they spend much more", said the doctor, who witnessed cases in the emergency room that “I haven't seen it for many years”.
Despite the hospital's calls for blood donation, "the response has not been the desired one."
With a blood reserve of type A positive (A+) for eight days, type A negative (A-) for seven and a half days, type O positive (O+) for 14 and a half days, and O negative (O- ) for 15 and a half days, Cristina Neves appealed to the need to donate blood.
“All blood types are needed because we don't know what might happen. We have to be prepared for the patients who are already inside, but also for all those who, due to an urgent situation, have to resort to an emergency”, she stressed.
Even though the blood reserve is renewed daily, “it does not restore itself to the speed that is used up”.
“We miss this more because we weren't used to it. We have always had good stocks at the hospital, we have never postponed surgeries and we want to appeal so that we do not have to take these measures, which we have not taken for decades”, she stressed.
She also said that access to the Hospital de São João blood bank is "very easy" and that it is not necessary to enter the facilities, since the entire donation process takes place outside the hospital infrastructure and with all health and safety measures.