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Cyprus blood banks running on empty

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Cyprus’ blood banks are battling supply shortages and requesting public support to bolster stocks to save lives.

The head of the blood bank laboratory, Androulla Panayiotou, told CNA that blood supplies are running low and appealed to the public to donate blood at donation stations and join organised blood donation events.

She said the centre is facing shortages due to the high number of COVID-19 or flu patients, which has temporarily banned thousands of donors from donating blood, resulting in a noticeable decrease in volunteers.

Additionally, the need for blood has risen, making an effort to find blood a daily challenge.

“The situation is not good, and the various infections have affected the attendance rate, and the attendance at blood donation events is very low.

“It is a bad situation.”

Asked about current blood supplies, she said the two-day blood supply, typically around 600 units is “non-existent”.

The centre needs 300 units of blood every day.

Currently, the blood centre does not even have 600 units in its storage.

Daily, around 250 donors visit the centre, while on weekends, the number can reach between 400 to 500 units of blood collected.

However, this percentage is considered “extremely low”.

Panayiotou said the centre contacts volunteers daily, but with most being sick, it is a struggle to find blood.