PMI assures blood stocks
will return to normal after

The Jakarta chapter of the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) has ensured the public that blood stock will return to normal by Jan. 6, following low supply during the year-end public holidays.

Ismet Sanusi, head of the blood transfusion service, said PMI usually ran out of blood stocks during holidays because the number of donors diminished.

"We often face this situation during the year-end holidays. Our donors, mostly employees, are usually on vacation so they have no time to donate their blood," Ismet told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

"Declining blood stock in the city could be seen in early December, which saw about 10,000 blood bags.

"On Wednesday at midnight, we had about 8,000 blood bags, while we usually have about 30,000 bags on a normal day," he said, adding that PMI Jakarta required about 1,000 bags each day.

He said PMI had collected much blood stock, but there was an expiry date for blood.

"Blood with trombocyte concentrate component, for instance, only lasts for five days," he said.

Ismet said the availability of blood stocks was determined by three factors: blood type (A, B, O, or AB), Rhesus (negative or positive) and component (such as red cell concentrate or trombocyte concentrate).

"The three things should be matched," he said, adding that PMI Jakarta was cooperating with the Expatriate Blood Donor Committee (EEBDC) to provide negative Rhesus.

"EEBDC seeks to match Rhesus negative blood donors with those needing this rare type of blood in Indonesia.

"During Christmas and New Year's holidays, the committee often faces blood stock scarcity, as many expatriate donors are celebrating," he said.

Yudiartini, head of blood processing and storage at PMI Jakarta, said PMI mobile services, which operated based on demand, would not be available Thursday and Friday because most offices and institutions, which often organize blood donor campaigns, were closed.

"We normally operate 12 out of our 14 mobile services. Over the last few days, we have only operated about three vans," she said.

Although PMI Jakarta is lacking blood stock, Ismet said, the situation was closer to "normal" compared to the fasting month.

He said stocks would return to normal Tuesday.

"We hope that there will not be any sudden major epidemics, like dengue fever, so the stocks will be adequate for the next few days. I suggest patients who need blood, find their own donors," he said.

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