Philippine Red Cross disappointed me today.

My Grandmother has End Stage Renal Failure. Last week, her Hemoglobin level went down to 7.5 hence the order for her to undergo yet another blood transfusion. We looked for blood donors but because they failed to meet the guidelines, they were deferred. It was then that I decided to deposit P2,000 just so my Grandmother can borrow a bag of packed RBCs that day from the hospital’s blood bank and they can start the dialysis. My cousin gave me his donor card the next day so we can finally refund the P2,000. From what we know, if you have donated blood through the Philippine Red CrossΒ (PRC), they will give you this Donor Card. It will serve as a priority card for replacement whenever your loved ones are in need of blood and also as a record of your blood donations to ensure that the gap between donations is three months or more.

The hospital’s blood bank gave me a shipment form that I should present to Red Cross the next day. I went to Red Cross and did as I was told. The lady wrote my grandmother’s last name on the remarks of my cousin’s donor card, she logged everything else, and told me to follow-up the request after a day. I went back to the hospital again to confirm that I have been to Red Cross and to bring back the other piece of the shipment form. It was Friday then but because I know how the Filipino system works, I did not call the following day. I went to the hospital on Monday but they said PRC hasn’t shipped the blood. On Tuesday, I went back to PRC to check. The lady lost my request so she wrote the details on a small piece of paper and said that I should call the next day. I called the hospital on Wednesday, and yeah, not yet, still. But the PRC had delivered for two other patients. Today, I went back to PRC but… again, they cannot find the small piece of paper so another lady wrote the details on another piece of paper. I told her that I have been there to follow-up our request twice already. Of course, I did it in a calm manner.

I was still patient until she asked me why I did not have donors. I did not answer because I am PMS-ing. She told me that having a Donor Card is not an assurance that the blood that we have borrowed will be replaced. She said that it is MERELY a record of the donor’s blood donations. So, next time that we need blood, we should make sure that we have donors. I just sighed. When she was done talking, I asked her again what the donor card is for. She said the same thing. It only serves as a record of blood donations. She said that we will NEVER be given priority and replacements are always depending on the available stocks. Nevertheless, she checked the record again and found my grandma’s name and told me to follow it up tomorrow. I asked for their number and she wrote it down with a frown.

I can still remember from the countless seminars that I have attended by Red Cross that once you donate blood, your loved ones can benefit from it as long as you present your donor card. This is why the folks of patients who have health problems needing frequent blood transfusions often donate blood in advance to ensure that they can immediately acquire the blood for the patient when the need arises. So when I arrived home, I searched for “some evidence” online.

Blood Donors Card

Each blood donors will be given BLOOD DONORS CARD. This card can
be used when the owner or any member of his family and friends needs
blood. He will be given priority depending on stocks/availability when he
presents this card to any Red Cross Blood Service Facilities nationwide
together with the blood request from the hospital. However, this card does
not exempt the holder from paying the processing fee. This is intended
to cover the cost of the reagents used to screen all donated blood for
infectious disease.

You can visit the site about Mass Donation Activity Guidelines here.

So, tomorrow I will again call Red Cross and the hospital. I hope we can refund the P2,000 asap. We need it by Monday and to think, tomorrow’s a holiday. Oh boy!

Maybe it was just a misunderstanding between the lady and me but she should be clear next time. Oh well, I’m still disappointed. She wasn’t even therapeutic.


16 thoughts on “Philippine Red Cross disappointed me today.

  1. Hello there, I just hope next time you can address the concern to the admin office of the Red Cross Chapter. Protocols and guidelines are set to facilitate the best service that we can give to the community. I cannot tolerate such neglect, especially to the people in need.

    1. Hello, there! Too bad I didn’t have time to file a formal complaint. I devoted almost all of my time to care for my grandmother that I didn’t bother. She already passed away more than a year ago, unfortunately.

      Anyway, I really hope this goes out to the people connected with the Red Cross. Misinformation is very bad and sometimes, the staff can’t empathize with the desperation, pressure, grief, and the stress that their clients are experiencing. Thank you for understanding what this article is really all about. The others who have commented didn’t seem to understand my point. πŸ™‚

  2. I just want to clarify that the 2,000 php was deposited in the hospital it served as cashbond so that SO will be obliged to replace the unit that was used.So PRC had nothing to do with your refund. Right?
    And everywhere you go in the Philippines majority of the system sucks even those institution who are well funded by the government.
    * Most people who arent regular donors nor never been a blood donor are those who often complains*.

    1. Hello there. What I’m trying to point out here is the hassle that the system gave me. It has to be written because they have to know that there is some improvement to do. I am not trying to be arrogant here, I perfectly understand the high demand for blood and the benefit that the people get from blood donations coming from PRC. There’s always room for improvement and sometimes, some institutions need to be reinforced so here’s my way of sharing what I have to say. Thanks for visiting my blog. πŸ™‚

  3. Blood donation is a social responsibility. Discourage blood donation and you discourage prolonging life of our citizens. We cannot manufacture blood, by all mean, it must come to voluntary blood donor. We need 2000 blood units per day in NCR to sustain client’s needs, those with anemia, cancer, pregnant, surgery etc., Fees were applied not for the blood itself but the processes it underwent with, testing, blood bags, machines and the sorts. This is highly implied with the Red Cross. Try asking blood testing fees in a hospital per disease like Hepa C and B, and you’ll be amazed how minimal Red Cross charge clients. They test 5 diseases including HIV, which is more than a million pesos machine-based testing.

    Donor Cards are priority card, not discount card, and is transferable. To promote voluntary blood donors, PRC has stopped using cards as to wave processing fees(as mandated by DOH), for some donors sell cards just for selfish gain, and the essence of VOLUNTARY BLOOD DONATION were neglected, to awaken social responsibility in each. I know many would not agree with me, but as a supporter of PRC, I tried and succeed understanding the complexities. And also, they have this Blood Samaritan program, which entitles indigent client for free processing fee but must be supported by documents πŸ™‚

    1. Hello there! Thank you for your reply. I am a nurse and I understand the big need for blood all over the country. If you can read my post again, I am not discouraging blood donation. I am complaining about the system and the misinformation.

  4. I hope this will get resolved. I’m equally disappointed with the now alleged donor id system. Turns out from your experience, it will not hold true for all situations 😦 Thanks for sharing and hopefully, this will reach the right authority.

    I hope you are doing better today despit of everything.

    1. Hey diane! Yeah, I already got the refund. I was really disappointed. I loved PNRC! Lol. But oh well, learned my lesson. Now, I might have discouraged people to donate their blood but hopefully, this issue will be resolved and I can get back to telling them that their blood can help save a life.

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