Blood supplies at the Turkish Red Crescent have already fallen by half as people are reluctant to go to blood donation centers amid the coronavirus outbreak, the organization’s president said Tuesday as he urged citizens to donate more.
Speaking to Demirören News Agency (DHA), Turkish Red Crescent President Kerem Kınık said the organization supplied more than 90% of Turkey’s blood transfusion need, which was last reported to be around 3 million units per year.
According to Kınık, the Red Crescent usually receives blood from 9,000 donors every day, which can then be turned into three units for transfusion per each donation, but with everyone locked inside due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the donations have dropped by 50%.
Kınık said while nonurgent and electoral medical procedures have stopped, life still continued and blood transfusions were vital for some people to survive.
“There are children with leukemia who need blood platelets. There are thalassemia patients who need weekly blood transfusions or other patients who would die without regular transfusions. We also sometimes need blood transfusions for coronavirus patients due to complications,” he said, also reminding of the occasional emergency situations such as traffic accidents or urgent surgeries.
Explaining that all necessary precautions were taken at the blood donation centers, Kınık urged all citizens not to neglect donating blood.
“Considering the normalization period after the outbreak will be a long one, we call on all our healthy and especially young citizens to spare 15 minutes of their time to donate,” he said.
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