Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
VASQUEZ, Marcela et al. Blood supply during disasters: the experience of Chile in 2010. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.5, pp. 365-370. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892011000500010.
A review of the management of blood supply and its administration during disasters was conducted based on the experience of several events that occurred primarily from 2000-2010, particularly the earthquake that measured 8.8 on the Richter scale that struck central and southern Chile on 27 February 2010. The objective was to provide information that could be useful in improving response plans and strategies during potential future disasters. The descriptive information on response procedures was obtained from interviews, internal reports, and the computer database from the Maule regional blood production center. The results lead to the conclusion that to respond efficiently and effectively to the need for blood in the immediate wake of a disaster it is essential to have both a centralized management system that facilitates the supply and administration of blood and volunteers with competence in health that are willing to swiftly arrive during these events. A change in the profile of blood donors during such emergencies was also observed. In Chile, for example, during the two weeks after the earthquake, the ratio of male/female donors was reversed. There was 61.1% participation by women, whereas in the week before the event women accounted for only 37%.
Keywords : Blood banks; disaster planning; earthquakes; blood donors; emergency watch; Chile.