Tue, 18 Apr 2000

Blood shortage blamed for deaths

BANDUNG, West Java: About 40 percent of women giving birth have died during labor due to a shortage of blood needed for a transfusion, an official said here on Saturday.

"We could have prevented the deaths, but we had an insufficient supply of blood," the head of the Ministry of Health office in West Java, Adnan Mahmoed, told a news conference. He said the mortality rate for women during labor stood at 373 out of every 100,000 births.

Adnan said that 300,000 vials of blood were needed every year but the supply was never enough.

Lili Cholidah Wahyu, the head of the local Red Cross, said that if only one percent of the West Java population became blood donors, there would not be a shortage. Currently, only 0.3 percent of the population donates their blood, she said. (08/25)