18,478 congregation members of a church in Korea, Shincheonji Church of Jesus, made blood donations to solve the blood shortage in the country and have achieved an unprecedented miracle. The amount was 3 times more than the average daily use of blood in all medical institutions in Korea. This blood donation helped solve the national problem of blood supply and demand to the shortage that continued since the beginning of this year due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19).
Can’t get a blood transfusion with a blood donation card, Blood donation reduces due to a decline in the population
“We are very short of blood donation due to COVID-19. Donating blood can save precious lives. Please make a reservation in advance and visit a nearby blood donation house or a blood donation cafe.”
On 26th November 2021, above was the text message from the Ministry of Health and Welfare that was sent across the country to all mobile phones. In addition, text messages are continuously sent to those who participated in blood donation previously, in the form of “Emergency blood donation request – Absolute lack of blood.”
When a blood shortage emergency occurs, patients even in critical conditions can’t receive a blood transfusion. Under these circumstances, even if you have 100 blood donation cards, you will not receive a blood transfusion. Donated blood is used for acute leukemia, lymph and nonacute leukemia, various cancers, liver disease, and surgical surgery.
According to the Blood Management of the Korean Red Cross, the lack of blood donation in Korea is becoming chronic due to the prolonged COVID-19 incident. Recovered patients can donate blood only after 4 weeks of self-quarantine. However, this has changed to 10 days of self-quarantine recently, which increased the number of blood donors, but unfortunately unable to resolve the blood shortage completely. Although the number of patients who need a blood transfusion has increased due to a lack of blood supply, the blood donation rate has been steadily decreasing from 5.7% to 5.0% over the past 5 years since 2017.
Since December 2021 when Omicron began, about 17 million confirmed cases occurred over five months. It had accelerated the lack of blood donation due to concerns over the spread of infection along with quarantine. Moreover, due to the high demand of blood supply, people in their 50s increased while young adults in their 20s who mainly donate blood decreased from 12.4 million in 2015 to 11.8 million in 2019.