Countrywide blood shortage Print E-mail
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Thursday, 19 October 2017 00:00

On Monday October 16th, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital sent out an advisory that it was postponing elective surgeries due to limited blood supply for these procedures. The shortage began two and a half weeks earlier and was attributed to the Blood Bank being unable to supply blood. While the hospital is able to continue life-saving surgeries, elective surgeries are being postponed.

But what is causing the shortage? According to Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, it has to do with the Blood Bank being unable to screen blood. He told us that there is currently a region-wide shortage of HIV testing kits so even if donors provide blood, these cannot be screened. This has caused an acute shortage as the Belize City based blood bank is the only one that supplies blood to all medical institutions in need.

Dr. Manzanero says currently the bank is receiving assistance from neighboring Mexico and are sourcing alternatives to ensure that there is adequate supply of blood in the country.