Monthly blood drives are a vital component of operations at Lao Friends Hospital for Children, which has seen an increase in surgeries and thalassemia patients.
Twenty-one people were donors during the February blood drive at the Friends Gallery in downtown Lunag Prabang.
There always seems to be a shortage of blood in the province and LFHC encourages local residents, expats and tourists to donate.
Apart from emergencies and surgeries at the area’s district hospitals, donated blood is critically needed at the LFHC Thalassemia Clinic, which provides blood transfusions to children afflicted with the thalassemia blood disorder.
The caseload at the clinic has increased to the extent that the clinic is now open two days a week. On a busy day, as many as 24 patients will visit the clinic, some for follow-up visits and others for transfusions. The clinic uses as many as 12 units of blood per day.
Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder that can cause anemia.
In 2018, the monthly blood drives at the Friends Gallery collected 317 bags of donated blood.