Dengue cases surge, blood supply drops

ILOILO – Dengue cases here are rising while the local Philippine Red Cross blood bank’s blood stocks are dwindling.

The Provincial Health Office (PHO) finds this worrisome because some dengue cases require blood transfusion.

To beef up Red Cross’ blood stocks, local government units (LGUs) here were urged to conduct bloodletting.

Kinahanglan damuon ta pa gid ang aton nga blood collection,” said Dr. Ma. Socorro Colmenares Quiñon of the PHO.

Aside from dengue, she also cited complicated pregnancies and childbirths, and mothers with postpartum hemorrhage needing blood transfusion.

It was a good thing, said Quiñon, that district hospitals were actively campaigning for blood donations.

One of the district hospitals’ laudable practices, she said, was to require pregnant women about to give birth to bring blood donors.

“Kun nagabusong ang nanay kinahanglan ang tatay mangita blood donor or ang tatay mismo ang mangin blood donor. Ingkaso kinahanglanon ni misis sa pagbata, may yara na kuhaan sang dugo,” said Quiñon.

Cases of dengue (8,613 with 48 deaths) in Western Visayas from January to June 1 this year were significantly higher (by 198 percent) than last year’s 2,886 with 23 deaths for the same period.

Ma. Lourdes Monegro, DOH-6 regional entomologist, said the age range of patients was between one month old to 88 years old, but the age group with the most number of cases was between one to 10 years old.

Iloilo province had the most number of cases (2,516 with 12 deaths) followed by Negros Occidental (2,277 with 17 deaths).

On the part of LGUs, Quiñon said, they needed to improve their blood donation program.

LGUs were being encouraged to produce blood donors – at least one percent of their total population.

Only 10 LGUs have so far met this, said Quiñon – Tubungan, Passi City, Igbaras, Banate, Bingawan, Mina, Santa Barbara, Zarraga, San Enrique, and Dueñas.

Who can donate blood?

According to Red Cross, one can donate blood if he/she:

* is in good health

* is between 16 to 65 years old (16 and 17 years old need parents consent)

* weighs at least 110 pounds

* has a blood pressure between: Systolic: 90-160 mmHg, Diastolic: 60-100 mmHg; and

* has passed the physical and health history assessments.


Red Cross has the following tips to those intending to donate blood:

* Have enough rest and sleep.

* No alcohol intake 24 hours prior to blood donation.

* No medications for at least 24 hours prior to blood donation.

* Have something to eat prior to blood donation, avoid fatty food.

* Drink plenty of fluid, like water or juice.

What should one do after donating blood? Red Cross has the following advice:

* Drink plenty of fluid, like water or juice.

* Refrain from stooping down after blood donation.

* Refrain from strenuous activities like lifting heavy objects, driving big vehicles such as bus, trucks, etc., or operating big machines.

* Avoid using the punctured arm in lifting heavy objects.

* Apply pressure on the punctured site and lift the arm in case the site is still bleeding.

* If there is discoloration and swelling on the punctured site, you may apply cold compress for 24 hours.

* If there is dizziness, just lie down with your feet elevated. Drink plenty of juice; and in just a few minutes or so, it will pass./PN



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