Schwerin (dpa / mv) - blood donation organizations and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Minister of Health Stefanie Drese (SPD) have called for increased blood donations - and warned of a shortage. Operations that had been postponed due to the corona pandemic are currently being made up for, as Drese said on Monday on the occasion of World Blood Donor Day. That increases the need. In addition, the average age of regular donors has been increasing for years, so that the number of available donations is declining due to the age limit. World Blood Donor Day is celebrated this Tuesday.
At the moment, the stocks of blood reserves at the University Medicine Greifswald, for example, only lasted for one or two days. "Normally, reserves should be available for five to six days," said Drese. According to the blood donation service of the German Red Cross (DRK) MV, there should always be 1000 blood units in the organization's warehouse in order to be able to cover the needs of the clinics. Currently there are just under 600.
Corona is also a problem, said Nico Feldmann from the DRK blood donation service. Those willing to donate are not allowed to donate for four weeks after surviving a corona infection in order not to put additional strain on the body. Since the number of infections is still high and rising again, some of the donors will be absent for a while.
Drese appealed to young people to deal with the issue of blood donation. At the same time, she spoke out in favor of no longer discriminating against gay and bisexual men. Since autumn 2021, they have been allowed to donate blood if they live in a permanent monogamous relationship.
The directive of the German Medical Association still excludes men who have sex with men too generally. "The aim must be a regulation that maintains the high level of safety of blood products in Germany, but at the same time does not reject anyone unnecessarily," Drese demanded.
According to the private blood donation service Haema (Leipzig), 15,000 blood donations are needed in Germany every day to ensure medical care. However, only three percent of the population regularly donated blood. Bottlenecks can always occur.