The National- Friday, January 21, 2011
By ELIZABETH MIAE
THE blood bank at the Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) is facing a severe shortage of blood and the public has been encouraged to donate blood.
The blood bank needs about 1,000 bags every month to give to those in need – especially anaemic patients, patients with blood disorders, accident victims and the labour ward.
According to the sister in charge of the national blood service, Sr Mary Luben, they were not meeting their target and blood was currently on high demand.
“We don’t force people to give blood, if they trust themselves then they give,” she said.
“We are begging for lives (blood) to save lives.”
Luben said that the national blood service was the only body in the country collecting blood from donors.
The mobile team from the blood service travelled to schools, business houses and organisations collecting blood and even going as far as Kwikila in Central’s Rigo district.
She told The National that blood was not only given to patients at the PMGH but also to the private clinics and hospitals within the city, adding that patients with blood disorders were given high priority for transfusion.
The blood bank had been short of blood since schools closed for Christmas holidays last month. Students are the biggest blood donors to the bank.
Luben pointed out the benefits of giving blood and most important of all, saving another person’s life; it was also a free test that would help the volunteer know his or her HIV, hepatitis or syphilis status.
She explained that the blood collected is usually brought to the laboratory for screening to check if it is contaminated.
If the blood is contaminated, it is discarded but the donor would be informed and advised to get the necessary medical assistance.
Apart from their appeal for blood donations, they were also appealing for assistance from business houses and organisations for logistics to sustain their operations.
Unfortunately for the team, they have no proper office, vehicle for transportation, office equipment such as phones, faxes and computers among others.
They have been using their own resources to operate.
All these were taken away during the crisis by St John last year in which it was alleged that the management had misused funds.
The blood service was contracted to the St John Blood Service to manage after the PNG Red Cross Society’s contract expired.
Luben and her team were at the office of The National yesterday to collect blood from volunteering staff from the different departments.