Here’s what you need to know about giving blood.
In Singapore, 15 units of blood are used every hour. That’s over 100,000 units of blood needed every year, and the number is only set to increase as our population ages and medical procedures become more advanced. This World Blood Donor Day (June 14, 2015), consider giving life by donating blood if you can. The procedure is completely safe, and only takes about 45 minutes. Here’s what else you need to know before you give blood, as provided by the Singapore Health Sciences Authority (HSA).
In order to give blood, you must fulfil all of the following criteria:
– Be between 16 and 60 years old
– Weigh at least 45 kg
– Have a haemoglobin level of at least 12.5 g/dl (you’ll be tested on donation day)
– Be generally healthy, and free of symptoms like sore throat, cough, runny nose and diarrhoea for at least a week
– Be free of fevers for at least three weeks
– Have a contactable address and telephone number in Singapore for the next six months
The blood donation process is as follows:
– You don’t have to fast from food before your donation. Just take your meals regularly, but avoid alcohol. Two hours before donation, it’s also a good idea to eat a light snack.
– During registration, you have to bring along proof of your identity and your personal particulars will be recorded. You’ll also have to fill in a health assessment form.
– A health screener will speak with you to get more details about your medical, travel and social history to confirm that you’re fit to donate blood. Your weight, blood pressure, pulse and body temperature will also be taken.
– You’ll undergo a blood test to check on your haemoglobin level.
– Once you’re cleared to give blood, your arm will be cleaned and you’ll be given a local painkiller to minimise discomfort during the procedure. The actual blood donation only takes about five to 10 minutes.
– After you’re done, you’ll be given light refreshments and asked to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. You may notice a reddish-purplish bruise forming at the site where blood was drawn, but this is normal and the mark can take up to two weeks to fade.