NOTE: This story was first published in The Bohol Chronicle’s Sunday print edition.
Bohol is fast depleting its blood stocks bringing it to critical levels, despite the reported decline in trauma patients from motor vehicle accidents.
According to a report from Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital Blood Bank, in one month, Bohol blood stocks plummeted to only 25 percent with Bohol patients using up 75 percent of the blood stocks.
There were times that the demand for blood rose high with the rising cases of trauma patients needing transfusion, patients from motor vehicle accidents.
To illustrate the bleak scenario, GCGMH Blood bank nurse Nickson Felix Epe reported that the available red cell units in all blood service facilities in Bohol as of 9:00 AM of April 15, is down to very critical.
And as it that is not enough, Epe said the trend is: it is still declining.
The Gallares Hospital Blood bank is down to 2 days supply of B+, 2 days supply of O+ and four days supply of A+.
Type AB+ in stock, however, can still last for 14 days, Epe said during the recent Kapihan sa PIA help at DYTR studio.
Epe said, GCGMH Blood bank, as a lead blood service facility in Bohol aims to maintain a blood supply that will last for a minimum of seven days.
The current data, however, shows three blood types now on the critical levels, and only AB+ well above the minimum.
And as if that is not enough to worry, blood bank authorities said one factor that has contributed to the critical levels in blood stocks is, incidentally the declared community quarantines which have canceled the implementation of the community-based blood-letting activities as part of the National Voluntary Blood Donation Program.
The Community Quarantines that he has brought about several issues on the blood program, Epe said citing travel restrictions and the hesitation of Local Government Unit (LGU) partners to continue with their community blood drives.
While there has been a still decline in motor vehicle accidents with Community Quarantine Checkpoints set up between town boundaries, hospital sources have bared that blood usage has always been high in major surgical operations, even in caesarian births.
And that is not even counting the expected surge of the need for blood with Bohol now poised to start mass testing for persons or patients with influenza-like-illnesses, which will start any time soon, Provincial health nurse Milagros Israel hinted.
With the Community Quarantines and the blood donations stopped, the patients’ need for blood has not stopped, Epe said even as nurse and Bohol blood donation program coordinator Israel urged local government units, civil society organizations and well-meaning individuals to partner again with the blood service facilities to keep the blood tricking.
“Community based blood donation activities are purposive and planned activities and are not among the restricted activities,” Epe said citing a newly issued Department of Health guidelines on the conduct of community blood drives, in response to queries about blood donation activities amidst orders to stay at home and social distancing.
Over this, both called on Boholanos to, again offer themselves to others by giving out about two glasses of clean and healthy blood, which would be done at the Gallares Hospital Blood Bank.
And in the time when social distancing is practiced, prospective donors are asked to set an appointment with Gallares Hospital Blood Bank page on Facebook, this will prevent the crowding of donors, as the DOH guidelines would want to avoid, Epe said. (rahchiu/PIA-7/Bohol)