You’re probably ready to get back out there and give back to the community. Donating blood is a great way to do just that! In fact, every blood donation can save up to three lives, according to Singapore Red Cross. Here’s what you can expect from donating blood in Singapore.
Why donate blood?
Important for both planned treatments and urgent interventions, blood can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions to live longer, and support medical and surgical procedures. It’s also vital for treating wounds during emergencies, from natural disasters to accidents that can affect any of us.
Since the COVID-19 crisis, having a steady supply of blood is more important than ever. According to Singapore Red Cross, blood collection in the first week of the Circuit Breaker period dipped to less than a quarter of the usual levels. Since about 400 bags of blood are needed every day in Singapore, it’s a great idea to consider donating to help ensure a constant supply of safe blood.
Singapore Red Cross has four blood banks islandwide, at Health Sciences Authority (Outram Road), Dhoby Ghaut, Woodlands and Westgate Tower in Jurong. The organisation also schedules community blood drives at other locations throughout the year. Check their site for updates!
Once your blood is donated, it’s tested, stored and distributed, then used for transfusions. All you have to do is donate! It only takes an hour – easy peasy!
What’s more, to safeguard donors’ health and wellbeing, all blood donation sites have implemented precautionary measures. These include mandatory temperature checks and pre-screening for all donors, increased frequency of cleaning and strict crowd management. To ensure safe distancing, donation beds are at least one metre apart, and chairs are staggered in the waiting and post-donation rooms.
Here’s what you can expect:
- Form filling and registration (approximately 10 minutes)
- Medical screening, in which temperature, body weight, pulse and blood pressure are taken (approximately 10-15 minutes)
- Haemogloblin check (approximately five minutes)
- Blood donation (approximately 10-15 minutes)
- Rest and refreshments (approximately 15 minutes)
Tip: To shorten your time spent at the blood bank, it’s recommended that you make an appointment before coming to donate.
Five more things to know before giving blood in Singapore
#1 You’re eligible for giving blood in Singapore if:
- You’re between the ages of 16 and 60, and weigh at least 45kg
- Your haemoglobin level is at least 12.5g/dl for females or 13g/dl for males
- You have not travelled to any malaria-affected areas in the last four months
- You’re in generally good health and haven’t shown any symptoms of infection in the past week (including sore throat or cough)
#2 You can prepare for the blood donation by eating a light meal and getting a good night’s rest. No need to fast!
#3 You’ll need an identification document such as your NRIC, work permit or passport; and, if you’re 16 or 17 years old, you’ll need a signed consent form from a parent.
#4 Around 300 to 350ml of blood will be taken for a body weight of 45 to 50kg, or 450ml for a body weight of 50kg and above.
#5 After donating blood, you can resume your normal activities, though anything strenuous should wait until the following day. It’s also recommended that you hydrate, and maintain an iron-rich diet to replenish the iron stocks in your body.
To register or for more information, visit redcross.sg.
For more helpful tips head to our Living in Singapore section.