Blood bank on Truong Sa Archipelago

(VOVWORLD) - The National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion has put into operation of a blood bank project in Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago to provide blood for medical treatment on the islands. The program receives blood donations from military officials, soldiers, and fishermen living there. 

Blood bank on Truong Sa Archipelago - ảnh 1 Doctors of the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion take blood from island soldiers for testing. (Photo: Tuyet Mai/VOV)

The blood bank mobilizes donations of blood from the public, which is tested, stored, and made available for emergency first aid and medical treatment.

Establishing a blood bank in a remote area such as these islands is not easy because of harsh weather, long and often difficult travel, and poor infrastructure.

The National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion began this blood bank after a decade of prior field studies and planning on the islands of Phu Quoc, Con Dao, Cat Ba, Bach Long Vi, Ly Son, and Con Co.

Professor Nguyen Anh Tri, the Institute’s Director, told VOV: “Anyone on the island can donate blood if they have Blood Type O, are healthy with no blood-transmitted diseases, and are willing to undergo testing of their blood. We make up a list of qualified donors and submit it to the island’s medical station. Our gift to the island is simple but useful.”

Blood bank on Truong Sa Archipelago - ảnh 2 Soldiers stationed on the island join the voluntary blood donation program.

(Photo: Tuyet Mai/VOV)

Similar blood banks have been set up on the islands of Song Tu Tay, Nam Yet, Son Ca, Sinh Ton, and Truong Sa.

Senior Lieutenant Tran Quoc Hiep, who is stationed on Son Ca Island, said he is happy to have his blood tested.

“This is important to Truong Sa Archipelago, first to provide blood for emergency aid, and second for treating fishermen who become sick or injured while fishing in Truong Sa Archipelago. Soldiers and military staff stationed here can make blood resources available in the shortest time,” said Hiep.

Thanks to readily available blood supplies, Truong Sa Island’s infirmary was able to perform many successful surgeries last year. But the amount of blood donated by island soldiers has only covered emergency needs and doesn’t guarantee non-emergency blood transfusions.

Captain Dang Trung Dung, a medical doctor and head of the Army Medical Corps in Song Tu Tay Island, told VOV: “We still lack equipment and the demand for blood is high to treat sick and injured fishermen. A blood bank is badly needed.”

Senior Lieutenant-colonel Pham Anh Son, head of the Testing Department of the Naval Medical Institute, said: “It’s harder to build a blood bank here than at a mainland hospital. This initiative is something that has been desperately needed in the Truong Sa Archipelago.”


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