Cyprus’ blood banks are battling supply shortages, according to the head of the blood bank laboratory.

Androulla Panagiotou told CNA that blood supplies are running low and appealed to the public to donate blood at donation stations throughout the island and take part in organised blood donation events.

She told CNA that the center is facing shortages due to the high number of COVID-19 or flu patients, which has put many thousands of donors in temporary ban from donating blood, resulting in a noticeable decrease in the flow of donors.

Additionally, the need for blood is greatly increased, making the effort to find blood a daily challenge.

Unfortunately, she said, the situation is not good and it appears that the various infections have affected the attendance rate and the attendance at blood donation events is very low. It is a bad situation, she added.

Asked about current blood supplies, she said the two-day blood supply, which is typically around 600 units is non-existent. The center needs 300 units of blood every day. Currently, the blood center does not even have 600 units in its storage. On a daily basis, around 250 donors visit the center, while on weekends the number can reach between 400 to 500 units of blood collected. However, this percentage is considered “extremely low”, she added.

Efforts to collect blood are daily and continuous, Panagiotou said, noting the centre is contacting volunteers daily but with most being sick, it is a struggle to find blood.

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