Blood reserves of types A+, O+ and O- are all below ideal levels with reserves only sufficient to last for about five days.

According to the Instituto Português do Sangue e da Transplantação (IPST), every day, 1,000 units of blood components are needed. However, “in the summer season when, due to various factors related to holiday periods and population movements, the number of donations tend to decrease”.

“The difficulties result from the lack of professionals for blood collection and the lack of conditions to meet the population in order to promote donations”, says Alberto Mota, president of the Portuguese Federation of Benevolent Blood Donors (FEPODABES). “We cannot make a person wait two hours in the sun, in front of a mobile unit, to give blood”, he added.