Blood Shortages Force Zimbabwean Hospitals To Suspend Some Non-Emergency Surgeries

Blood Shortages Force Zimbabwean Hospitals To Suspend Some Non-Emergency Surgeries

Blood Shortages Force Zimbabwean Hospitals To Suspend Some Non-Emergency Surgeries

Blood shortages force Zimbabwean hospitals to suspend non-emergency surgeries. Parirenyatwa Hospital (in Harare), Sally Mugabe Hospital (in Harare) in Harare, Mpilo Hospital (in Bulawayo) and others hospitals around the country have shelved non-emergency surgeries due to acute blood shortages. This is a result of dwindling blood stocks at the national blood banks.

Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals spokesperson, Linos Dhire confided to HealthTimes that they have resolved to channel blood and blood products towards emergencies and life-threatening cases such as maternal cases and the casualty division until the blood stocks situation normalises. However, surgeries that do not require blood remain unaffected.

Said Dhire, "Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals has not stopped doing surgical operations although the hospital is currently experiencing some challenges with blood availability. Not all surgical operations require blood."

"However, the hospital is deferring non-emergency surgical cases which require blood until the blood availability situation improves."

"The hospital continues to work closely with the National Blood Service Zimbabwe and rationalise the use of blood products according to national and WHO guidelines."

This decision affects non-emergency or elective surgeries that requires blood. Elective surguries are those that a patient or doctor can plan in advance and do not require emergency attention. Such surguries can usually be safely postponed.

Sally Mugabe Hospital Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Christopher Pasi highlighted the fact that they cannot be expected to have blood when the NBSZ does not have it:

"If the NBSZ says they have got shortages, it also applies to the institutions because that’s the source.

"There is no way we can say they have blood and we say we don’t have or vice-versa. The issue is about national blood stocks."

National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) is mandated by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare to collect, process and distribute safe adequate blood and blood products.

NBSZ achives this through:

  • Collection of blood from voluntary non-remunerated donors.
  • Testing protocols that ensure blood donated is safe for transfusion.
  • Processing of blood into various components.
  • Testing of donated units for compatibility to patient.

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