More blood needed in preparation for natural disasters


Every two seconds, a person in the United States will need blood to recover from serious injuries, major surgeries, or chronic illnesses. What happens when natural disasters arrive in the Philippines where blood donations are more in demand than ever? A person who gets into a car accident may require up to 100 pints of blood to stay alive. According to the American Red Cross, only one pint of blood can be donated by a person during transfusion, highlighting the potential imbalance between the need and availability of blood in times of public crises. “We’re no stranger to earthquakes,” said Carmie de Leon, vice president for sales and marketing of Healthway Medical. “The recent earthquake in Nepal curtailed the lives of more than 8,000 people, and required them to seek more blood to treat those who are terribly wounded.” She added, “The same episode may happen to the Philippines given that there’s a rising fear of the 7.6-magnitude strong earthquake.”

Metro Manila is prone to earthquakes since it is surrounded by active faults—the West Valley and East Valley Faults. According to the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), residents in Metro Manila and nearby provinces should prepare for the “mega earthquake” which could put the lives of thousands of people on the line. “We need to be prepared,” De Leon said. “While keeping a disaster preparedness kit with rechargeable flash lights, face towels, whistles, and other disaster must-haves will make us ready, there’s also a need to bank blood to prepare for the worst.”

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