Monday, Feb 27, 2017, 2:45 PM CST – China

Media Focus

NewsChina, Chinese Edition March 21, 2016

Blood Shortage

Since the end of 2015, hospitals in several populous Chinese provinces including Jiangsu, Anhui and Henan were found to be short of donated blood, with reserves below official warning levels. On October 1, 1998, China enacted its first Blood Donation Law, which specified that all blood earmarked for clinical use must come from unremunerated blood donation, an attempt to legislate the decades-old practice of blood-selling out of existence. People donated 4,400 tons of blood in China in 2014, up from 1,000 tons in 1998, but demand has far outstripped supply, with cultural superstition and inadequate awareness leading to a shortfall of donors. Demand has made illegal blood-selling highly profitable, and poorly enforced penalties further incentivize the practice. Experts argue that the solution to the blood shortage lies in the improved management of hospital blood banks, better communication between institutions supplying donated blood and hospital administrators, and a major expansion of blood drives. 

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