Blood donation of Covid-19 survivors welcome in W. Visayas

Blood donation of Covid-19 survivors welcome in W. Visayas

ILOILO CITY – The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) in Iloilo said they are open to blood donations from individuals who have recovered from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

During a meeting with select members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) last April 9, President Rodrigo Duterte urged those who have recovered from Covid-19 to donate blood following studies showing that their antibodies may help improve the condition of patients with severe symptoms.

“We are waiting for the guidelines from the national headquarters because we have a machine here that is capable of doing the procedure,” Dr. Dennise Roy Pasadilla, manager of PRC’s West Visayas Regional Blood Center, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in a phone interview on Thursday.

The guidelines will lay down who would carry out the procedure, where to perform it, and the billing terms, among others.

Pasadilla said the guidelines would also identify the age of the donor and the laboratory tests he/she should undergo before the extraction of blood.

He said the machine at the West Visayas Regional Blood Center is the same as that being used at the Philippine General Hospital.

“We use the machine in getting blood platelet but we can reconfigure that to get plasma,” Pasadilla said.

Recovered patients in Western Visayas include a 22-year-old woman and a 65-year-old man from Iloilo province; a 61-year-old woman from this city; a 56-year-old man and a 28-year-old man from Bacolod City; a 45-year-old man from Capiz province; and a 41-year-old woman from Negros Occidental province, based on the data provided by the Department of Health – Center for Health Development in the region.

“We are willing to accept if we have guidelines but so far, we have no donor and no request,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pasadilla noted that about 90 percent of their blood donation activities had been called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Although he was unable to provide the actual count, he said the buffer stock of blood is limited and only good for two to three days.

“Our office supposedly collects blood every day but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, only our skeletal force renders duty. What we do is we ask blood donations from towns without positive cases of Covid-19 and have zero person under monitoring,” he said.

Pasadilla also called on volunteers from Iloilo district hospitals to sustain their blood supply.

The Ramon Tabiana Memorial District Hospital (RTMDH) in Cabatuan town was first to heed the call of the PRC.

He said it has already sent the first batch of its blood donors, who are also hospital personnel, to PRC-Iloilo.

The RTMDH has also committed to send five or more staff members every weekday to donate blood. — By Gail Momblan / (PNA.GOV.PH

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