Photo Credit: Hadas Parush / Flash 90
Magen David Adom ambulance evacuates wounded to hospital. (file)

The Magen David Adom emergency medical response service is calling on the Israeli public to donate blood in the face of a shortage in the country’s blood bank.

In particular, MDA spokesperson Zaki Heller says there is a shortage in blood types O+ and all of the RH-negative types, A-, B- and O-.


Heller notes the blood bank is facing difficulties supplying Israel’s hospitals with enough units of blood for transfusions. Israeli National Blood Services, a division of MDA-Israel, is responsible for the collection, processing, testing and distribution of blood units and blood products throughout the State of Israel.

The central blood bank and the fractionation plant where blood is separated into plasma and other components are located in Tel Hashomer Medical Center.

Hundreds of thousands of units of blood are collected annually, 90 percent of which are collected via MDA Mobil Units in schools, factories, community centers and army bases. The other 10 percent are collected at donor rooms in MDA first aid stations in towns and cities throughout the country.

MDA also manages the Israeli National Public Cord Blood Bank. Blood collected from the placenta after a baby is born, contains cord blood (CB) stem cells which have the potential to replace bone marrow and other tissues in the body. CB, which has properties that hold promise for the evolving field of cellular selection, expansion and gene therapy, is currently being used as an alternative source for transplantation in patients with congenital or malignant disease.

All donated blood is tested for blood type, detection of irregular antibodies to red cell antigens, and transfusion-transmitted diseases such as Hepatitis B, C, HIV 1/2, HTLV and Syphilis as well as ALT levels.

Every person who donates blood is offered the MDA Blood Insurance program, which grants further credit of blood for the donor and his/her immediate family members for 12 months following the donation.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.