While the health ministry had posted on its Facebook page on August 10 that the national referral hospital in Thimphu is in need of blood, the hospital said it has enough blood in their blood bank.

The facebook post had urged people to come and donate blood for good cause. 

Transfusion specialist with the national blood bank, Dr Mahrukh Getshen, said they have not informed the ministry of not having enough blood. She said, there was an increase in requirement for platelet, a component of blood, which happens sometimes.

“A component of blood, which we make was used very rapidly so we are preparing it every day,” she said. “We have been conducting blood donation camps and we have people coming to us to donate blood.”

On August 14, the blood bank unit at the national referral hospital collected 64 units from the ongoing National Graduate Orientation Programme while about 70 units of blood were collected from Tango monastery, one of the regular blood donor institutions. 

About 300 units of blood were collected during a blood donation drive in four dzongkhags when the world blood donor day was observed on June 14.

Dr Mahrukh Getshen said the information that the hospital was in need of blood might have spread through word of mouth. “We have enough PRC (packed red cells).”

Of a total of 3,900 units of blood donated to the hospital last year, 2,029 were through voluntary donation and about 321 were replacement for the units issued by the blood bank, according to the hospital’s recent annual report.

Meanwhile, the blood bank unit issued 6,341 units of blood to different wards in the hospital in 2017.

According to the status report on blood safety and availability in Bhutan (2011-2016), blood transfusion in Bhutan is commonly used to treat pregnancy and childbirth-related complications, severe childhood anaemia, massive trauma, therapy for solid and haematological malignancies and also for supportive care in various types of cancers and patients on regular dialysis.

Bhutan has seen a steady rise in total blood units collected over the years, according to the report which was released this June.

Blood transfusion service in the country is operated as units of the hospital laboratory services. There are 27 functional hospital-based blood centres throughout the country, with an annual collection ranging from 25 to nearly 4,000 units a centre.

The percentage of voluntary non-remunerated blood donations has reached 77 percent in 2016 from 56 percent in 2011.

According to the report, the annual blood requirement in Bhutan is estimated to be 10,000 units. About 9,917 units were collected in 2016 with a blood donation rate of 12.5 per 1,000 population compared to 11 per 1,000 population in 2015.

Dechen Tshomo


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