Milan hospitals plead for blood donations

Open for blood donation also on Sunday.

Milan’s two major hospitals – Policlinico and San Raffaele – have issued a plea for donations as non-urgent operations are having to be re-scheduled for lack of stocks of blood.

Urgent operations with a high risk of loss of blood are also being suspended.

There are particularly low stocks of blood types O-, O+ and A-.

Donors aged between 18 and 60 in good health will be welcomed with a meal and a free health check. Workers who donate blood are also entitled to a day off work, say the hospitals.

Normal hours for the donation centres are Mondays-Saturdays 07.30 to 14.00.  And on Sunday 14 January the centres will open for donors who can’t make it during the week. The hours on Sunday will be from 08.00 to 13.00, and donors should call for an appointment on 02 5503 4306/07.

The donation centre in the Policlinico is on the first floor of the Marangoni building in Via Francesco Sforza 35.  That at San Raffaele is in Edificio San Gabriele 1 on floor 1R.

It is important to check before going that you are eligible to donate, because some limitations have been applied to reduce the risk of infection. For example, anybody who between 1980 and 1996 lived for six months or more in the United Kingdom, or who underwent an operation or transfusion there, cannot donate because of the diffusion of BSE (“mad cow disease”) in the UK in that period.

The health ministry has published a list (in Italian) of factors which permanently or temporarily forbid persons to donate blood. Your family doctor can advise you.