Hospitals have enough blood, minister says

The government yesterday denied that Greek hospitals were desperately short of blood after hospital officials were quoted in the press as saying stocks, particularly in rare groups, had fallen to dangerously low levels. «There is no problem in addressing immediate needs, acute and emergency cases or patients who require frequent transfusions, as a result of insufficient blood reserves in Greek hospitals,» Health Minister Costas Stefanis said. He added that stocks always dwindle in the summer due to increased demand, mainly as a result of road accidents. Yesterday’s Ta Nea daily reported that the Athens KAT and Aghia Sophia as well as the Corfu and Patras hospitals were badly short of blood. Stefanis said blood donors had doubled in recent years, reducing blood imports to 3 percent of the country’s annual consumption – 600,000 units.