PRC to keep blood supply flowing 

Richard Gordon

WITH the country in danger of facing a shortage of blood supply amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prompted the government to limit public transportation, movement and to prohibit group gatherings, the Philippine Red Cross will launch a new program for blood donation on World Blood Donors’ Day to ensure sufficient supply of safe and quality blood.

Senator Richard J. Gordon, PRC chairman and CEO, said they will launch on May 14 “Pledge RC143 Blood,” which aims to prevent the current blood supply from further dwindling and reaching critical numbers.

“It is the duty of every Filipino to share his precious blood and help his fellowmen who are in need of it, with or without a pandemic. We are reaching out to more companies and government agencies to partner with PRC to ensure steady supply of blood all year round. We are preventing the shortage of blood so we have to move now and collect blood on an institutional basis, every day,” he said.

Gordon explained that under the new program, PRC will partner with companies, agencies, and the military which will provide at least 44 blood donors to the PRC every day to ensure a stable blood source every day.

Citing the Social Security System, which has agreed to be PRC’s first partner for Pledge RC143 Blood, the PRC chairman pointed out that things become easy when people and companies work together and set an example for others to emulate.

“Thank you President Aurora Baby Ignacio. It only took one phone call to @PHLSSS President Aurora Ignacio for her to agree to a blood donation in their office today,” he shared on a social media post.

Gordon said all blood donors of Pledge RC 143 Blood shall be provided with ID Cards for Volunteers (Blood). Their complete information (complete name, blood type, birthday, mobile number, and email address) will be obtained before blood donation as they will be issued with ID cards containing a QR code. When the QR code is scanned, it will show the details of the blood donor and the times he/she donated blood to PRC, which will be recognized during the annual PRC Blood Donors’ Day.

To ensure that blood donors will be safe and comfortable amid the virus scare and as a means to prevent the spread of the contagion, the Red Cross has put in place several measures, he said.

Aside from regular disinfection of Red Cross blood center facilities, the measures include wearing of proper protective equipment and fetching interested blood donors from their homes to bring them to the centers for the blood-letting.

“There has been no proven transmission of COVID-19 by blood or other substances of human origin. We are encouraging any person who is healthy and without fever to donate blood. But if they have a previous travel history abroad, they could only donate blood after completing the required 14-day quarantine,” Gordon said.