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Foreigners answer call for blood donations

PHUKET: Scores of foreigners turned out to donate blood at a major blood donation drive held at the Central Floresta shopping mall yesterday (Dec 22).

By The Phuket News

Friday 23 December 2022, 09:38AM

The blood donation drive, organised by Phuket Immigration and Vachira Phuket Hospital, was held to help replenish much-needed blood reserves, with heightened emphasis on donating rare blood types.

The drive followed Rewat Areerob, President of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO), making an urgent call for foreigners to donate blood following a slew of road accidents in Phuket involving foreigners.

Mr Rewat’s call for donations was for Rh-negative blood types, which are not common among Asians, but are more common among foreigners, and critically needed for providing to Rh-negative foreigners in urgent cases in Phuket.

Present for the blood donation event were Phuket Immigration Chief Col Thanet Sukchai, Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Dr Weerasak Lorthongkam, Phuket Vice Governor Danai Sunantarod and Wandee Woonciew, President of the Phuket Red Cross Society and wife of Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew.

Dr Weerasak noted that Vachira Phuket Hospital provides about 33,000 units of blood per year, with about 77% going to general patients, but the remaining 23% being required during urgent surgeries to treat injuries sustained in accidents.

“As a result, the demand for blood for treatment continues throughout the year and tends to increase continually,” Dr Weerasak said.

“Donations of special blood groups is still a major problem. Among Thai people, only a very small number have special blood types [Rh-negative blood]. Only about three in 1,000 Thai people, or about 0.3%, have special blood types, which are more common among foreigners from Europe, where about 15% of people have [Rh-negative blood],” Dr Weerasak said.

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“Reserves of special blood groups are insufficient and cannot meet the needs of [Rh-negative] patients, because people with Rh-negative blood type can receive only Rh-negative blood,” he said.

Dr Weerasak thanked all people involved in making the blood drive yesterday a success.

“I would like to thank all sectors who have cooperated in pushing this Phuket Blood Donation Drive project to happen in order to campaign for more blood donations, especially for rare special blood groups. This will result in having enough blood reserves to take care of patients, whether they are Thai or foreigners, both in Phuket and nearby provinces,” he said.

Phuket Immigration Chief Col Thanet noted that with more tourists arriving on the island, “as a result, the rate of injuries from accidents or other illnesses among tourists and the population in Phuket is higher. As a result, the demand for blood in the area increases as well.

“The Phuket Immigration Police has therefore joined forces with the Phuket Red Cross and the Vachira Phuket Hospital Blood Bank to organise the Phuket Blood Donation Drive project with the importance of campaigning to provide enough blood reserves for tourists and residents living in Phuket to strengthen the confidence of both Thais and foreigners who come to travel or live in Phuket.”

Phuket Vice Governor Danai said, “Being able to supply enough blood to support the local population and tourists will build confidence and demonstrates Phuket’s potential as a safe and ready tourist destination in all aspects, and this project may be a model for other provinces that are tourist destinations of Thailand as well.”

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Kurt | 25 December 2022 - 08:34:18

I skip this blood donation session. I am solidair with boycot/sanctioning Russia/Russians. Don't take the chance my blood will be given to a Russian. Russia can send blood from Russia. Not unreasonable seen the number of Russian visitors. ( lately 130.016)

JohnC | 24 December 2022 - 09:26:26

Typical! Why are the 'donors' not made to wear face masks like the Thai staff attending them. All over the island only locals seem to care that covid (and other diseases tourists bring) are still rife.


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