The government is urging more people to donate blood to help reverse a national shortage in supplies, while about 30 percent of blood donors in Cambodia so far this year have been from volunteers.
Hok Kim Cheng, director of the National Blood Transfusion Centre, said yesterday the proportion of donations from volunteers was still very low when compared with neighbouring countries, where up to 90 percent of blood donors are voluntary.
He said the centre has received about 75,000 units of blood donations this year, the majority of which came from family donors.
“We are encouraging more people to donate blood as volunteers to save the lives of patients in urgent need in hospitals across the country,” Mr Kim Cheng said, adding that giving blood does not harm the health of the donor, while each unit contains 350 millilitres of blood.
A single unit of donated blood can save up to three lives. Mr Kim Cheng said more volunteers are needed to donate blood for emergency situations when relatives are not available.
“When blood donations from volunteers can meet demand, we will no longer have to worry when patients need blood in urgent cases,” he said.
He added the need for blood is high – especially for women who experience complications in childbirth and patients suffering from chronic kidney failure, as well as those undergoing surgery. “Across the country there are requests for more than 250 units of blood a day.
Phnom Penh alone needs 150 to 200 units per day,” Mr Kim Cheng said.
Last year, 65,145 units were collected from blood donors throughout the country.