Blood shortage crisis in Beijing

Blood shortage crisis in Beijing

BEIJING - Blood supplies in Beijing have fallen dramatically after the lavish lifestyle of a woman linked to the Red Cross of China was exposed on the Internet, Beijing News reported on Friday.

The paper claims China's capital faces a 30 to 40 per cent shortage and levels for all four types of blood are now listed as "urgent" at the Beijing blood center.

One unverified report online on Thursday suggested some surgeries at hospitals have been postponed due to blood shortages.

The head of Beijing blood center confirmed the shortfall, but said blood for emergency use has not been affected.

He told the paper that blood storage fell by 10 per cent compared with the previous year, with the latest two months decreasing by 13 per cent.

According to the report, blood donation saw a year-on-year increase starting from 125 tons in 2008 to 135.6 tons in 2009 and 142 tons in 2010.

However, the scandal involving Guo Meimei, who claimed to be the commercial general manager for the Red Cross Society in China, is believed to have contributed to the decline after she was pictured posing in her sedan Maserati and flaunting her wealth.

The head of the blood center said they will encourage more people, including college student volunteers, to donate their blood this year to meet the demand.

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