Blood donation can be a scary experience for the first timer or those who have never donated blood before. Will it hurt? Perhaps my skin is thicker and I don’t really feel the major pain that I experienced from my dental appointment, I’m more afraid to go to dental appointment instead of blood donation.
I had my first blood donation when I was 18 years old influenced by my family members while I was attending a charity event in Malaysia. I’m type O positive blood and the most common and needed blood type that given to other blood type patients. Hence, type O positive blood is one of the first to run out during a shortage due to its high demand for major traumas with massive blood loss, blood transfusion and any other procedure.
I hope by sharing my personal experience as a blood donor able to influence you to take an hour out of your day, every 3 months to save as many as 3 lives with one unit of bloods.
Recently, I received an SMS notification from Red Cross Singapore that there will be a blood donation drive at Nee Soon East CC on 17 July 2021. However, due to the tight and safe distance measures, blood donors are advised to book an appointment at least one day in advance as the drive is strictly by appointment basis. For donors who have just received COVID-19 vaccine recently, can check on the eligibility guidelines HERE.
The whole blood donation at drive was quite fast and easy. It took about 45 mins to an hour from registration to rest and recovery. Remember to bring along your IC during registration and you will be given a COVID-19 Pre-Screening and Declaration Form to be filled up followed by a Donor Health Assessment Questionnaire before getting a place in the donation queue.
HAEMOGLOBIN LEVEL CHECK
After the registration, the next step is to check the weight and blood haemoglobin level. The staff will take a tiny pin prick from your finger to collect a small amount of blood in order to check the haemoglobin levels.
Blood donor must weigh at least 50kg and above only eligible for blood donation. Furthermore, a male donor need to have a minimum haemoglobin level of 13.0 g/dl and 12.5g/dl for female donor in order to donate blood.
A medical screener will screen and ask some of the questions related to your medical, travel and social history to make sure the blood donation is safe for you and the recipient. The medical screener also will take your blood pressure and temperature to make sure you are fit and healthy for the blood donation.
After you have successfully passed through the screening, you are ready for the blood donation. Your arm will be cleaned and sanitized before the needle is inserted. So just sit back and relax during the process, remember to squeeze the ball on your palm for the better flow.
During the blood donation in Singapore, the blood donors are lucky enough to have a local anaesthetic (LA) to reduce the pain. However, I’m fine without the LA as I don’t want to get pricked twice. Furthermore, we never have LA during blood donation in Malaysia and I’m used to it. Hence, you need to inform the nurse earlier if you don’t want to have LA before the process too.
REST & RECOVER
You will be given a cute bandage once it’s over to stop the bleeding. Remember to have a 10 minutes rest and recover before you leave. Take plenty of water after the blood donation and the plasma portion of the donated blood should be replenished in a few days.
BENEFIT OF BLOOD DONATION
Lower Risk of Heart Attack and Cancer
Blood donation helps to lower the risk of heart attack and cancer as excessive amounts of iron may cause accelerated free radical damage in the body. On the other hand, you may maintain your healthy levels of iron in the body by donating the bloods and reduce the risk of heart attack and cancer.
Maintain Healthy Liver
Excessive consumption of iron-rich diet may increase the iron level that stored in our body as the liver only can absorb limited proportions only. As a result, you may suffer from liver ailments and blood donation may help you to maintain the good iron level and lower the liver related issues.
Helps in Weight Lose
Blood donation also helps donors to lose weight. According to the experts, you can burn up to 650 calories by just donating the blood. However, you may consult a doctor first before donating blood to avoid any health issue.
Did you know one unit of blood donation can save 3 lives? Every hour of the day, 15 units of bloods are used in Singapore and every year they need about 120,000 units of bloods to meet the transfusion needs of patients which equivalent to more than 400 units of blood a day. Hence, blood is essential to save lives in times of emergencies and help to sustain the lives of those with medical conditions.
Community blood drives will be organised regularly and you can check HERE for more blood drive around your neighbourhood. Precautionary measures are in place and in order to ensure the safe distancing measures, blood donors are strongly encouraged to call 6220-0183 at least one day in advance to book a time slot.