Briton donates rare-type blood to save Vietnamese man

A man having a rare blood type in southern Vietnam who was admitted to hospital in a critical condition has been saved by a British donor after his grave state was described on Facebook by a medical worker

A medical employee is seen taking Gareth Meadows' blood at Phu Quoc General Hospital

Tran Van Tuan, 37, was admitted to the emergency ward at Phu Quoc General Hospital in Kien Giang Province on Wednesday, with his lung pierced, suffering from pulmonary effusion.

With Tuan’s blood type being A, Rh-negative, which was extremely rare among the Vietnamese community, doctors could not find proper blood for his transfusion from the hospital’s blood bank.

After the hospital had contacted local organizations, hotels, and blood donors for help without success, Nguyen Phu Quy, an employee at Phu Quoc General Hospital, decided to use Facebook to spread the news in search of a suitable blood donor.

Quy’s Facebook post was quickly spread across the social community, and was come across by Gareth Meadows, a British national who is director at an English center.

With his limited Vietnamese proficiency, Meadows asked a local colleague to contact the hospital to confirm the information. After learning about Tuan’s case and knowing that his blood was compatible with the patient’s, Meadows rushed to the infirmary for a blood test and donation.

After receiving blood transfusion, Tuan overcame the critical condition and was transferred to a higher-level hospital for further treatment.

Speaking with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, Meadows said he had been living in Vietnam for seven years and on Phu Quoc Island for three years, but this was the first time he had donated blood in the country.

Meadows added he used to be a member of a blood donor club in the UK and had regularly donated blood in his home country.

According to the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, a blood type is considered rare when its occurrence in a community is below 0.1 percent, and is extremely rare if the rate is below 0.01 percent.

In Vietnam, the Rh-negative blood type only occurs in 0.04 to 0.07 percent of the population, while the occurrence rate of this blood type in Caucasian communities ranges from 15 to 20 percent.

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