Fear of Needles Blamed for Blood Donor Shortage

Fear of Needles Blamed for Blood Donor Shortage

The Philippine Red Cross and the Department of Health in Negros Oriental said there is a shortage of blood supply in the province and fear of needles could be the main reason.

Michelle Maquiling, officer in charge of the Philippine Red Cross Negros Oriental Chapter, said there is a dire need for blood donors because there are patients who need blood every day, but there is a shortage of supply even if the DOH has programs to strengthen blood donation in the province.

Maquiling said, “Supposed to be, one per cent of the population from each barangay should donate blood to meet the demand of the people. (But) in Negros Oriental, this isn’t happening.”

Jennifer Remollo, officer-in-charge of the provincial DOH, said part of people’s reluctance in actually donating blood is the fear of needles.

 “I’ve never been to a blood donation program wherein someone will not faint at the sight of needles,” Remollo said.

Despite the information dissemination drives by the DOH in partnership with local government units, enthusiastic potential donors usually will not show up when it is time to extract blood from them, Remollo said.

Fear of needles can drive potential donors to lie in order to evade blood extraction, said Maquiling. “There was one municipality that promised 250 donors, but in the end only eight showed up. Some donors purposely fail the blood testing by drinking alcohol the previous night or by faking illness just to escape it.”

Due to the shortage, people in need of blood would resort to looking for donors online, like Katrin Arcala, a PR professional, but the search can be just as difficult. “People are often busy or not qualified to donate, so even if we find volunteers, there is no guarantee that we’d be able to get a bag.”

 Maquiling and Remollo discourage significant others from paying for commercial blood donors because according to law blood donation should be a “humanitarian act.” – Royanni Miel M. Hontucan, SU Research and Environmental News Service