Blood center calls for expats' blood
The Shanghai Blood Center is calling on local expatriates to donate blood as the city often lacks RH-negative blood, which is very rare among Asians but a little more common among Westerners.
Only three in every 1,000 eastern Asians have this type of blood, but about 15 percent of Caucasians have RH-negative blood.
"We hope more foreigners can donate such blood to add to our storage. Local patients need their help," said Xie Yunzheng, director of the blood center's social service department.
"Besides, Shanghai will host Formula 1 China Grand Prix on September 24 to 26. The donation is also likely to help injured drivers," Xie added.
According to Xie's estimate, excluding children, the elderly and sick people, there are about 16,000 RH-negative blood carriers in the city that are able to donate blood. Roughly speaking, there are only some 4,000 people for each type of A, B, O and AB.
The blood bank normally keeps a supply of 4 liters of RH-negative blood with about 600 milliliters used on an average day.
"We are lacking RH-negative samples, and some patients who want elective surgeries may have to wait for a long time so that we can gather the blood," he added.
Yesterday, at the Shanghai Sailors' Hospital, doctors had to recycle an 86-year-old patient's own blood during a stomach cancer surgery as she happened to have RH-negative type A blood.
"None of the three children are RH-negative and the hospital also didn't have any in storage," said Chen Cunling, the patient's son. "I called the Shanghai Blood Center, which told me they could only afford to provide 400 milliliters of blood."
The blood center said it has managed to keep a contact list of some 200 RH-negative locals, who are willing to donate blood in an emergency or during a shortage.
Officials said they only test to see whether a person's blood is RH-positive or RH-negative if they are planning to donate blood.
That means many people are not aware they are RH-negative.