Matthieu Limongi, edited by Mélanie Faure 12:02 p.m., June 14, 2022

This Tuesday marks World Blood Donor Day.

As summer approaches, blood supplies are low for several blood types in hospitals.

In several regions, the situation is even critical and establishments are worried.

If the donations are always fewer during this period, the emergencies do not weaken.

At the Reims hospital center, we had to learn how to adjust stocks.

Yannick Lemière makes the same observation every day: when the stock manager of the Reims hospital center opens the laboratory reserves, the blood bags are missing.

In Reims and in the Grand Est region, the need for blood products increases from year to year.

Yannick therefore learned to optimize and negotiate.

"A prescriber will ask us for three pockets, but by explaining to him our stock problems, two pockets will be enough", he explains to Europe 1.

In the establishment, the thresholds are below the critical threshold

"It depends on the type of patient, their pathology and the stock. It's a balance to be found," he continues.

Despite everything, Yannick and his team are forced to deal with the shortage of bags for certain blood types on a case-by-case basis - the one that is most lacking is O negative. 

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A more than fragile balance.

And since every drop counts, more and more patients are receiving blood that differs from their blood type.

“It will save us money,” says Yannick Lemière.

"There have been patients who alone have used 40 bags in the same day. If you give him the 40 bags of his blood group, you give him our entire stock, it is not possible."

Deferred operations

The operation is most often without risk, but it is not always possible depending on the blood groups.

Indeed, the transfusion of blood from another group can sometimes bring antigens, at the origin of antibodies.

If antibodies are formed, the body will therefore recognize it as foreign and fight against it - this is what they call "immunize".

Sometimes, when the stock of a certain blood group or Rhesus is lacking, the intervention can be postponed depending on the case and the vital or relative emergencies.

This is what Deria, a technician at the laboratory at the Reims hospital, observes more and more, who explains that the problem is group O: "When it's an operation, we can afford to postpone it. But when it's a maternity ward, we do research in the region or even in France to find compatible pockets."

A general alert that Deria fears will be repeated in the weeks to come.

What is the health situation across the country?

To function properly, hospitals in France need 30,000 samples before the summer.

The head of development in the territory of EFS Reims had to redouble her imagination to attract donors, in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic which generated new fears.

The management therefore carried out campaigns in more atypical places, such as at the Stade de Reims.