Blood donation in Shanghai stepped up during epidemic
Local residents donated blood some 80,000 times between January 23 and May 31 to help ensure medical supplies during the coronavirus epidemic.
Nearly 90 percent of donors were young and middle-aged people below 45 years old, said the local blood authority on Sunday, World Blood Donor Day.
This year’s theme is “Safe blood saves lives”, with the slogan “Give blood and make the world a healthier place.” The aim is to establish a safe and healthy blood supply system, improve blood donation services and encourage more people to donate blood and donate blood regularly.
The city collected 511,800 units of blood last year, a rise of 78.7 percent compared with 20 years ago, basically meeting clinical demand, the authority said.
A live-streamed program was launched on Sunday to show the public how safe blood can save patients, and encourage more residents to donate.
Major tourist sites and landmark buildings in Shanghai such as the Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Global Harbor were all lighted red at night to celebrate the day along with another 44 cities in China under a campaign organized by China Blood Transfusion Association.
To show respect and care for blood donors, Shanghai has announced that blood donors and family members undergoing medical procedures will not be charged for blood transfusion since the end of January 31.
Under local regulations, a blood donor can have five lots of donated blood within five years, and the same amount of blood for free in future. Family members who are not eligible to donate blood can have free use of blood in the same quantity of the donation within five years.
The fee for blood transfusion is 240 yuan (US$34) per unit and covers the cost of testing, collection, transfusion and storage.
Previously, patients had to pay the fee at the hospital and then travel to the blood management office for reimbursement. Under the new policy, the fee is directly deducted at the hospital, officials said.
The policy covers all people who donate blood in Shanghai.