April 17, 2024

Even regular blood donors are not given special accommodation when it is their time to avail of blood.
Red Cross officials and volunteers clarified that in the issuance of blood, the humanitarian organization does not give priority to those who regularly donate blood if their request is not considered emergency.
“At Red Cross, medical priorities prevail. Even if you are a regular blood donor if your circumstance is not serious, you will not be prioritized,” said Carlos Canilao, chair of Red Cross-Baguio board of directors.
The clarification was made to correct the misconception that the blood donated at Red Cross are reserved for the regular donors, their relatives, or people whom they will endorse.
“The basic principle of Red Cross is that, whoever needs blood the most will be given the blood immediately. Even family members of regular blood donors are not prioritized if their case is not serious, based on the assessment of doctors,” Canilao, a regular donor, said.
He said there was a need to explain how Red Cross prioritizes the giving of blood because there are individuals who complain they are not immediately accommodated when they request for blood, if they are relatives of the donor, or they were endorsed by a regular blood donor.
Ryan Mangusan, vice chair of Red Cross-Baguio BOD, shared the view, saying the blood are not stored for those who donated them.
“We have to understand that a lot of people need blood every day, so we should not expect that the blood we donate can be stored for a longer duration. Nagkakaubusan ng dugo including type O that is considered the universal blood type,” Mangusan said.
The Red Cross officials said this should not discourage qualified individuals from donating blood. Instead, they said the donors should think about the lives they help save with their donation.
Red Cross Baguio Administrator Jennelyn Terre said donating blood is a humanitarian act and those who donate are helping ensure that blood is readily available in times of emergency.
She also clarified the fees collected from those availing blood from Red Cross are not for the payment of the blood units. The amount covers the costs that are associated with the collection, testing and preparing the components of blood.
She said even in hospitals where donors may go directly to donate blood for a patient, payment for the processing of the blood are added to the bills.
Terre said Red Cross charges P1,800 as processing fee for whole blood; P1,500 for pack red blood cells; and P1,000 per bag for platelet components, fresh frozen plasma, and cryoprecipitate.
Red Cross-Baguio has initiated a massive blood donation drive at Melvin Jones on April 15 in time for the 75th anniversary celebration of the international humanitarian organization. – Jane B. Cadalig