Bonn/Siegburg Blood reserves are in short supply in hospitals in Bonn and the region and donations of blood group 0 are urgently sought. We explain what the cause of the shortage is and what this could mean for hospitals in an emergency.
In hospitals in Bonn and the region, blood reserves are running low. The director of the blood donation service at the University Hospital Bonn, Johannes Oldenburg, confirms the shortage. The reason for this is the additional coronavirus protection measures in the blood donation service. In the second half of August, there was a "great shortage of blood reserves throughout Germany". The number of blood reserves recently dropped by half, nevertheless, all operations can be carried out as planned.
Stocks are slowly being filled again: "Thanks to the help from the population, we have increased our own production of blood reserves in the blood donation service of the University Hospital Bonn by 30 per cent, and the German Red Cross is now also supplying more blood reserves, but has not yet reached the standard supply.
In particular, supplies of the important blood group 0 are still low, said Oldenburg. Since the university hospital is considered a maximum provider, the most severe cases end up there, which is why the blood reserve supplies must be the highest. Although a shortage is not currently being felt, there are only few reserves for emergencies.
The university hospital is now calling for blood donations and donors with blood group 0 are particularly needed, since this is used as universally compatible blood in emergencies. "For the protection of everyone and for the long-term security of the supply, an even flow of blood donations is necessary, says Oldenburg. He also explains what could happen if a clinic does not have enough blood in stock.
"In such a situation, there would be different phases of escalation, which would start with postponing unnecessary operations by a few days," says Oldenburg. If the situation did not ease, it would further lead to blood-saving measures being used in operations.
"In this case, the blood of a person that is lost during surgery would be reprocessed and returned to him or her after the operation," Oldenburg continued. The final escalation stage would be reached when unnecessary operations would have to be cancelled to keep blood reserves free. However, this situation had not been reached at the University Hospital.
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the blood donation service at Bonn University Hospital adapted its procedures to guarantee the safety of all those involved. For example, an admission control including temperature measurement and a system of blood donation by appointment was introduced.
Donors can call the hotline 0228/28714780 from Monday to Friday between 8.30 a.m. and 2 p.m. to obtain information and make an appointment. Appointments can also be made by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, giving a telephone number.
No problems at Johanniter Waldkrankenhaus and Malteser Hospital
The Johanniter Waldkrankenhaus hospital in Bonn does not currently have a blood reserve shortage. "We buy our blood reserves from the blood bank. The bank provides us with the reserves together with the German Red Cross. We have heard about the shortage, but we are not affected," said Michael Forst, spokesman of the Johanniter hospital.
Carsten Jochum, managing director of the Malteser hospital in Bonn, also acknowledged on request that they knew there was a shortage of reserves in general, but that no shortages were foreseeable at present. "The supply is still guaranteed and also the emergency stocks are filled", said Jochum.
Blood shortage in Siegburg
The Helios-Klinik in Siegburg also reports a general shortage of certain blood reserves. Press spokeswoman Bianca Breuer said: "We are in the same boat as everyone else. Some blood groups are available in limited quantities at the clinic. Similar to in most hospitals, it is not possible to donate blood directly in Siegburg. The clinic refers to the blood donation campaign of the German Red Cross. The next appointments there are already planned. Blood can be donated on Thursday, 10 September 10 in Troisdorf and Bornheim. (Original text, Jana Henseler, Anja Wollschläger and Tamara Wegbahn; translation John Chandler)