The Taiwan Blood Services Foundation urged people on Sunday to donate blood as the nationwide blood supply level has fallen below the officially designated safe level of seven days, with the situation in Taipei particularly serious.
Blood stocks at five major donation centers around Taiwan fell to an average of 6.9 days of blood supplies, with stocks of type A blood at 6.7 days of supply, type B at 7.8 days, type O at 6.4 days and type AB at 6.9 days, according to the foundation's latest data.
In Taipei, stocks of type A blood were down to a 4.5-day supply, while type B reserves were down to 5.2 days of supply, type O reserves to 5.1 days and type AB reserves to 4.5 days.
Taichung had the most critical shortage of type O blood, with stocks of that type of blood down to less than a four-day supply, while the reserves of other types of blood were also running low, the data showed.
Blood reserves in northern Taiwan were especially low because of the usual high demand for blood from many large hospitals in Taipei and the need for large volumes of blood to treat cancer patients, according to Hung Ying-sheng (洪英聖), a representative of the foundation.
The recent cold and damp weather has also discouraged people from giving blood while leading to more people falling ill, including those with cardiovascular disease, creating higher demand for blood, Hung said.
The foundation will hold additional blood drives in the coming days and weeks to ensure a sufficient supply of blood during the Lunar New Year holiday from Jan. 23 to 29 by building blood reserves to nine days of supply, Hung said.