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. Now’s your chance to help by donating blood in Singapore. On 24 May from 10am to 1pm, American Women’s Association (AWA) and Expat Living are holding a blood drive at Bloodbank@HSA (11 Outram Road).
“I think giving blood is always important, no matter where you live. But living as expats, and on a small island like Singapore, giving back becomes even more important,” says AWA Blood Drive Coordinator Jeanine Stewart. “Singapore has a low percentage of blood donors. As an expat community, we can make a difference, and a simple way to do that is to give blood on a regular basis. The eligibility guidelines to donate blood here in Singapore are rather strict, so if you can donate, it’’s very important to do so regularly.”
So, how did Jeanine become so passionate about this project? “To be honest, when I first took over the AWA Blood Drive Coordinator position I didn’’t realise I was passionate about it! I knew I wanted to do something to give back to Singapore and I wanted to do it under the Community Outreach of the AWA. It was only once I began working with the Singapore Red Cross and organised my first blood drive that I realised how important giving blood is to so many people. And I have a rare blood type!” she says. “It was an easy decision to partner with the Singapore Red Cross; they’re set up to host blood drives and they’’re grateful for any and all donations.”
According to Red Cross Singapore, every blood donation can save up to three lives. After the blood is tested, it’s stored and distributed, and used for transfusions.
The AWA hosts three blood drives per calendar year at Bloodbank@HSA, with the number of donors continuously increasing. “Education and awareness are very important to maintaining the growth,” says Jeanine.
She adds, “The AWA Community Services offers loads of volunteer opportunities for expat women living in Singapore. The blood drives are just one way we’re helping support Singapore.”
Here are five things to know before giving blood:
- You’re eligible for giving blood if:
- you’re between the ages of 16 and 60
- you weigh at least 45kg
- you have a haemoglobin level of 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 are in generally good health and have not shown any symptoms of infection for the past week (including sore throat or cough)
- You can prepare for the blood donation by eating a light meal and getting a good night’s rest. No need to fast!
- 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.
- It only takes an hour. Here’s a rundown of 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)
- 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.
Register online at the AWA Event Registration Calendar.
For more helpful tips head to our Living in Singapore section.