Spring and Corona dampen willingness to donate blood

Blood reserves are slowly running out in Bremen and Lower Saxony. This has to do with seasonal fluctuations and the corona crisis.

The blood reserves for hospital patients in Lower Saxony and Bremen could become scarce in a few weeks due to declining donations according to the DRK. “Currently the needs can be supplied from the stocks,” said the spokesman for the regional blood donation service of the German Red Cross, Markus Baulke, in Springe. “But there is currently a supply gap for the end of May and June.”

The willingness to donate has been declining since mid-April, said Baulke. On the one hand, he attributed this to spring. “May is the most difficult month.” There are many holidays, the potential donors “prefer to be outside than at donation appointments”. On the other hand, the donors are unsettled by the development of the corona pandemic with new requirements and exit restrictions. Most of them got the message: Please stay at home!

Demand for blood products remained constant

The current supply in the region is 8,000 to 9,000 blood units. 10,000 canned food are necessary to adequately cover all blood groups, said Baulke. In the second and third waves of the corona epidemic in winter and spring, many hospitals postponed operations.

Contrary to expectations, the demand for blood has not fallen, but has remained constant, said Baulke. The central institute for the blood donation service for the DRK regional associations in Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Oldenburg and Bremen is located in Springe in the Hanover region.

Last year, blood was donated 492,210 times in Lower Saxony and Bremen, which was only slightly fewer than in the pre-corona year 2019 with 502,385 donations. Due to stricter hygiene and distance rules in the pandemic, there were only 5,289 donation dates (2019: 5,925). The willingness of the population to donate was overwhelming, said Baulke. On average, 93 donors came per appointment after 85 donors in 2019.