In southern Germany, bottlenecks in blood donations are threatening in winter due to the expected increase in the number of corona infections. The DRK has an urgent request in Baden-Württemberg and Hesse.
Munich/Frankfurt am Main – Once again, the German Red Cross (DRK) is sounding the alarm with regard to blood donations in Germany. Because: According to the German hospitals and clinics, too few blood donations have been received for months. Despite the fact that the corona measures have been almost completely lifted in many places in Germany.
Blood donations in Germany: Fewer donations because of Corona? DRK Baden-Württemberg-Hessen warns
In 2019, only 1.9 million liters of blood came together in Germany. The number of whole blood donations fell sharply even before the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Paul Ehrlich Institute, a total of 6,388,992 blood donations were made in 2020. The number of donations fell by 2.7 percent compared to the previous year. One explanation may have been the restrictions due to Corona. Nevertheless, the trend has been going on for years. From 2011, the year with the most donations, the number fell by 1.3 million by 2020, or around 16 percent. NDR recently reported that around 25 percent fewer people have come to donate blood at the Hamburg-Eppendorf University Hospital since the end of the corona measure in spring.
The upcoming Corona winter could now lead to (even) scarcer blood supplies. The DRK blood donation service in Baden-Württemberg and Hesse fears this. The expected increase in the number of infected people who are temporarily unable to donate “causes concern”, as a spokeswoman in Frankfurt am Main said: “The supply situation can quickly escalate here.” Therefore, one is asked to donate blood beforehand come.
According to its own statements, the DRK blood donation service in Baden-Württemberg-Hessen can currently supply hospitals according to their needs. However, the “supply traffic light” is far from green, the spokeswoman said. Some blood products have a short shelf life, so there must be enough donations available every day. Currently, the number of their own preserves is enough for about two and a half days. A supply for four to five days would be safer, the spokeswoman said.
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In addition to the possible corona-related loss of donors, the blood donation service also counted the consequences of the energy crisis among the challenges of the upcoming winter. On the one hand, energy has to be saved, on the other hand, due to the corona pandemic, it has to be ventilated regularly – and the room temperature to be maintained for blood donation must be at least 19 degrees. In addition, there is a shortage of staff and young people in the healthcare system, “which has a noticeable impact on blood donation overall”.
Blood donations in Germany: 15,000 donations needed daily for blood supplies
A blood or plasma donation is possible in Hesse at various university clinics, hospitals and municipal or private institutions. According to the Ministry of Social Affairs in Wiesbaden, around 15,000 donations are needed every day in Germany in order to be able to safely supply patients with blood supplies. These are used, for example, for transfusions after serious accidents and for operations or cancer patients. (pm/dpa)