By The Nation
“A hospital’s blood shortage is correlated with the spike in road accidents. The more road crashes, the more blood is needed for treatments,” said hospital director Dr Wichai Churnchongkolkul.
He said a blood shortage happened every year, often around the time of long holidays and key festivals such as Songkran, New Year or Loy Krathong. There were usually more road accidents during long holidays, while a larger number of people also seek medical treatment and services after the long holidays, he added.
Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital also serves as a medical school and as a large-size hospital in the province, it supports patients with various serious ailments that require a lot of blood supplies, such as surgeries for heart disease patients, recipients of organ implants and thalassemia patients, Wichai said.
Each month this hospital requires 3,000 units of blood for use, he explained. But the number of blood donors has been on a decline, leading the hospital to come up about 600 units short every month. The amount the Red Cross Society is able to supply at the hospital’s request is not sufficient for patient needs, he added.
The hospital has implemented proactive measures to seek blood donations, while the staff, teachers and students at Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Medicine, have joined with others to help spread the call for help in social media. More people have showed up to offer blood donations as a result he said, but more blood is needed. People can donate blood at the Sripat Building’s ground floor blood bank (tel 053-935624).