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 Foreigners are invited to donate rare blood at PMI Bali

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BerichtOnderwerp: Foreigners are invited to donate rare blood at PMI Bali   Foreigners are invited to donate rare blood at PMI Bali Icon_minitimezo 24 feb 2013 - 18:41

The Jakarta Post/Bali Daily, 2013-02-23,

The blood donor unit at the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) is inviting foreigners, who have negative blood types, to donate their blood in order to maintain the blood bank’s supply of rare rhesus blood.

The director of PMI Bali’s blood donor unit, AAG Sudewa, said that Bali was the only province in Indonesia that had a supply of rare blood at its headquarters in the Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar.

“Other provinces, like Jakarta and Surabaya, usually contact PMI Bali when they need rare types of blood, particularly for foreign patients,” said Sudewa in Denpasar on Friday. Only 0.01 percent of Indonesia’s total population has negative rhesus blood. Indonesian patients with negative rhesus find it difficult to find donor matches. Most negative rhesus blood types are found among foreigners.

For the database of rare blood donors, PMI Bali has established a network with an association of rare blood-type donors, whose members are mostly foreign nationals working in Bali. Sudewa intends to hold a meeting with the association to improve the blood donation mechanism.

“But we also need to have some ready stock, so that we don’t have to call future donors, and pick the first person, especially when an emergency case occurs,” said Sudewa, adding that he would also seek assistance from the immigration office and hotels to announce PMI Bali’s appeal for more foreigners with negative rhesus to donate blood.

“The donors who intend to donate their negative rhesus blood can call their hotel reception personnel, who will contact PMI Bali. Our team of medical personnel equipped with blood donor equipment are ready to go to the donors’ locations to perform the procedure,” said Sudewa.

Sudewa emphasized that a ready supply of blood was vital, not only for locals but also for foreign patients in Bali. The island has a ready supply of blood to last five days, while other provinces usually only have a three-day supply.

In Bali, around 100 bags of blood are used every day. The blood is obtained from volunteer donors and replacement donors who are usually related to the patients in need.

The blood supply at the PMI Bali headquarters at Sanglah hospital is now sufficient for February, thanks to the volunteer blood drive held recently on Valentine’s Day. As of Feb. 22, PMI Bali recorded a supply of almost 500 bags of donor blood, comprising 265 bags of blood-type O, 166 bags of type B, and 125 bags of type A.

However, Sudewa acknowledged that many people still sought advice from substitute donors via social media sites because many of them were panicking and had not checked the blood supply at PMI Bali.

“They were in a panic and were not aware that we had ready supplies,” he said.

Cok Agung Kurniawan, one of the medical officers who monitors blood donors, said social media sites served as an effective way to seek substitute donors.

He himself manages the Facebook account for PMI Bali’s blood donor unit. “The status of PMI Bali’s blood-stock levels can be checked via our Facebook account,” said Cok, adding that Facebook was also an effective way to attract new donors.

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