The blood bank in Thimphu Hospital requires 6,300 units of blood to meet emergencies but it has collected only 50 units so far this year.
Last year, the blood bank collected 3,804 units of which 78 percent came from voluntary donors including mobile camps and walk-ins. Patients’ family members donated the rest.
To meet the requirement this year, the blood bank plans to bring in 1,500 new donors by promoting, propagating and advocating the importance of blood donation through campaigns, media and social networking.
According to Dr. Mahrukh Getshen, in-charge of the blood bank out of two main blood groups systems – ABO and Rh. Rh negative which falls under Rh is the rarest blood group because 99 percent of people are Rh positive.
People who are Rh negative and register with the blood bank could help patients in times of dire need, he said. Normally Rh negative blood is not stored as a whole month usually goes by without a single patient turning up for the same but the bank wants donors to be on the registry panel so that they can be summoned when required. It is especially necessary for Rh negative women of child bearing age.
“Out of all, O negative blood has more advantages because we can give it to anyone during an emergency,” she said.
People tend to donate only when there is shortage but Dr. Mahrukh Getshen suggests that everyone donate blood on a regular basis at least three times a year.
According to statistics as of last year, on an average 11 patients needed blood ranging from one to four units daily. This shows that at least 40 units of blood has to be kept in stock on a daily basis.
At present, at least 10 units of blood are collected every day. Recently two mobile camps were held which managed to collect approximately 50 units.
“The campaign has to go on because the need is increasing,” she added.