A decrease in the number of people donating blood in Saudi Arabia is putting patients at risk, a specialist has warned.

Hind Al-Humaidan, director of the blood bank at Riyadh’s King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, pointed out that 500,000 women in US die in childbirth each year simply due to a lack of blood.

Although there are no statistics on the issue in Saudi Arabia, there is still a high demand for blood.

“New viruses, Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and other diseases are making American blood banks set strict regulations governing the receiving of blood from donors,” said Al-Humaidan, who added that the obsession of examining donor blood – in the interest of patient safety – is limiting the amount of people who are donating.

She also said that it is essential to balance the safety of patients and the need for blood when following regulations, as even regular patients are being examined thoroughly for their own safety.

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