105th Blood Donation at St. Andrew’s Junior College Hall

St. Andrew’s old boy Mr Yee Teck Peng has been the author of a newsletter for the school and alumni since 1999. I help maintain the list and check it regularly, reading the posts partly to ensure all is well.

This morning on a regular check, I was pleased to see news of a blood donation drive at St. Andrew’s Junior College – but it as to be held today; probably too late to suggest alumni to go but I posted it on this blog anyway.

Viewing the advert, I realised it had been quite awhile since my last visit. Blog archives revealed I set off for my 104th blood donation in mid-April. Aha, but had I successfully completed the donation? To know for sure, I logged in to HSA DonorCare (with Singpass) and saw this:

Last blood donation-1

Ooh, I was eligible two weeks ago! I must have forgotten to gcal (calendar) the date, for where were reminders?!

Alright, so I was eligible, but is whole blood what they need from me?

HSA has a webpage at which I can check the preferred type of donation according to current patient needs. These are the current preferences:

20110727-Health Sciences Authority - What2019s Needed Now

No surprise, really, for I’ve been donating whole blood for years now – they prefer I donate four packets of whole blood annually instead of six bags of plasma. My platelet count is too low for donation.

So whole blood donation at SAJC, it was. I had sorted this all out whilst heading to Pulau Ubin for my student’s long-awaited presentations at NParks Ubin. We finished by midday and I grabbed lunch at Changi Village – I would be expected to have a meal before blood donation.

SAJC’s main entrance is by way of Potong Pasir where Mr Chiam See Tong’s photo no longer greets you. Entering SAJC Hall, I realised HSA’s blood donation staff were overwhelmed. Apparently the turnout was greater than expected. However, my cat had a vet’s appointment at 4pm, would I be able to make it in time?

Then an old friend materialised next to me – Geraldine Yeo. It turns out she is the teacher handling SAJC’s Interact Club, who was responsible for this gig. She fast-tracked me through all the queues – interview/screening, blood test, donation. And each time I apologised for cutting the queue, the students greeted me with warm smiles. What a lovely bunch!

SAJC Hall, 27 jul 2011
SAJC Hall abuzz with potential blood donors

SAJC Hall, 27 Jul 2011
Back in school!

Sivasothi N. 105th blood donation
My 105th Blood donation

I completed my blood donation at my alma mater, my 105th since I began just after my 18th birthday in 1984. Well, these students have begun earlier in their lives than I did and Geraldine and I are here hoping some will become regular donors, clocking at least two donations a year. Singapore does require regular contributions – just check DonorWeb.

A number on my form indicated I was the 205th person to attempt donating. Both the HSA staff and Geraldine told me to expect some 25% of the students to be too light or to have too low a blood iron content to donate. However, with the larger than expected turnout, the teenage Saints would have nudged those needles up today!

Care to donate? Head down to Outram, Woodlands or catch one of the bloodmobiles. See the HSA webpage.

Thanks to Geraldine for the photos!

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