The HCMC Red Cross Society on August 17 held an online meeting to exchange views and collect opinions on digitizing blood donation management.
After the meeting, the HCMC Red Cross, along with the City Blood Transfusion Hematology Hospital and the City Humanitarian Blood Donation Center, decided to pilot the app for blood donations this week before officially using it the next week.
The Departments of Health, Science and Technology agreed. The Department of Information and Communications required a number of procedures before officially deploying the app.
Huynh Truong Son, chair of the HCMC Red Cross, at the meeting warned about the shortage of stored blood. As the city is applying PM Directive 16 to prevent and control the pandemic, mobile humanitarian blood donation points have closed and people who want to donate blood have difficulty when going through quarantine checkpoint.
Since the mobile blood donation points have closed, the city now receives donated blood only at two points – the Red Cross and the Humanitarian Blood Donation Center. As a result, the volume of blood received has decreased. There are just 100 bags of blood on some days. Too little blood reserve will lead to deficiency.
Son cited HCMC Vice Mayor Vo Van Hoan as saying that lack of reserved blood is just like lack of oxygen to treat Covid-19. It necessary to use all possible methods to take blood donations. There should be a technological platform that supports the management of blood donations, which helps digitize the process and ensure safety in blood transmission.
These units had earlier set up a team to develop a project on digital transformation for blood donations. Using an app for blood donation management and launching website giotmauvang.org.vn into trial operation are parts of the project.
Phi Anh Tuan, deputy chair of the HCMC Informatics Association, who is in charge of a digital transformation strategy for blood donations, said that the effort will improve management efficiency, save time, and build a database of the donations.
The platform allows people to register for blood donation via different channels. The time and points for blood donations will be provided to donors. This helps avoid gatherings in crowds and donors do not have to wait.
The platform will also build digital certificates, which are much easier for checking and reference when necessary.
Dr Nguyen Phuong Lien from the HCMC Blood Transfusion and Hematology Hospital said the reserved blood volume has dropped since June. On June 3, there were only 5,000 bags in the bank. The figure rose to 11,000 on June 13.
As many as 1,000 blood units have been promptly transported by air by the Central Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion in Hanoi to the blood bank of Cho Ray Hospital in HCM City.
HCM City faces a severe shortage of blood for emergency aid and treatment at hospitals, according to the HCM City Hospital of Hematology and Blood Transfusion.