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Beijing Blood Bank Reports Severe Blood Shortage
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The Beijing Blood Bank is experiencing a severe shortage as Beijing's hospitals are using blood faster than the blood bank can collect it.

This past week donations dropped significantly to only 450 units (200 milliliters) a day, while in November hospitals used 1,400 units a day, said a source with Beijing Blood Bank.

Last month the bank collected an average of 760 units a day, down 12 percent on a year-on-year basis. On average hospitals use 900 units of blood a day.

Shi Xin, director of the Public Relations Department of the Beijing Blood Bank, says the bank had an inventory of 2,796 units, well short of its target inventory of 5,000 units, adding that supplies of type O are seriously low.

"Our inventory of O type blood storage should be 1,500 units, but we now have only 407 units," said Shi.

With arrival of colder temperatures fewer people are visiting the mobile blood donation buses that visit different parts of the city, Shi said.

In the past, the blood bank would order quotas, via the circulars issued by the municipal government, to colleges and state-run companies, asking people to "voluntarily" donate their blood. The colleges and companies would be entrusted with making sure their quotas were filled.

Now that blood donation is more voluntary the blood bank's mobile donation buses are remaining on the streets until 9:00 PM every day.

The Beijing Blood Bank also called on citizens to actively participate in this "commonweal activity."

Shanghai is also reporting a shortage of blood types A and O. Shanghai's government has launched a plan to persuade 10,000 people to donate their blood to ease the shortage.

(Xinhua News Agency December 5, 2006)

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