Speaking to the Lusa agency, the president of the Portuguese Institute of Blood and Transplantation (IPST), Maria Antónia Escoval, explained that in these months there is always a decrease in donations, “on the one hand, because of respiratory infections, on the other, due weather, which greatly condition the availability of potential donors to travel to the collection sites”.

“We need all those who can, to donate. And for all those who have never given blood, this is an excellent opportunity to do so for the first time”, said the official, underlining: “if we think that a blood donation can save up to three people, it is a gesture of extraordinary solidarity”.

According to information made available to Lusa, IPST blood and blood component reserves are between four days for O positive and O negative, five days for A negative and 45 days for AB positive.

The Portuguese Federation of Benevolent Blood Donors (FEPODABES) has warned of the need for urgent mobilisation of donors, considering that the latest official data point to “worrying levels” of reserves of various blood groups.

Questioned by Lusa, Maria Antónia Escoval explained that the IPST considers the seven days reserve level to be “optimal”, but underlines that “blood samples are taken every day” and that, anticipating the situation in the months of January and February, the institute “is already making appeals on two radio stations and also has spots on television”.

Data sent to Lusa indicate that in 2021 the downward trend in the number of donations and donors observed since 2008 was reversed.

According to the IPST, in 2021 the number of donors who made a donation increased (a higher value than in 2018), as well as the number of donations and first-time donors.

“This trend of increasing the number of donors and donations continued in 2022”, according to the institute.

Find out more at www.ipst.pt To find out where to give blood go to www.dador.pt.