Beijing's health authority has issued a plea to healthy citizens
with the rhesus negative blood type to make donations to build up
supplies for overseas athletes at next year's Olympic Games.
The health authorities face a shortage of the blood type as only
three out of 10,000 Han Chinese are RH negative, according to
"Beijing will welcome more than 500,000 foreign guests during
the Games and we need to reinforce our blood banks," said Deng
Xiaohong, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Health
A pressing job between now and the Games' opening ceremony next
August is to expand storage of the RH negative blood, which is
found in 15 percent of the western people, she said.
Beijing-based hospitals need a total of 200,000 cc of RH
negative blood a year for clinical use, according to Deng. "When
the blood is out of supply, we also ask other provinces for help,"
New technologies have prolonged the shelf life of the RH
negative blood to ten years by storing it at minus 85 degrees
Occasional reports of blood shortages have prompted several
Chinese cities to set up special databanks with details of the RH
negative donors, including their overall health situation, donation
history and past illnesses, to ensure an adequate supply in case of
It can be fatal if a RH negative patient receives transfusions
of a different blood type. Expectant mothers with RH negative blood
are also vulnerable to miscarriages when the fetuses have a
different blood type.
(Xinhua News Agency September 6, 2007)