Blood donation appeal during Circuit Breaker

Red Cross appeal in my NUS inbox – a call to healthy individuals to donate blood during Circuit Breaker at a location near your home.

Book an appointment to shorten your time at the donation centre.

For COVID-19 precautions and other details, see:

Only 1.87% are blood donors but youth contribution has increased to 27% (2016)

One unit of blood can save three lives and blood demands have increased to 15 units of blood per hour or 400 units of blood a day. The blood-donating volunteer numbers in Singapore come from a small minority as only 1.87% of the residential population donate. If you are healthy and eligible, this is a definite way to contribute. It’s easy now with four blood centers and numerous community drives [link].

Impressively though, youth contribution has increased – 27% of blood donors are below 20 years of age, which is a massive increase from just 0.5% in 2004 and up from 5% in 2007. Youth (15–24 years) make up some 12-13% of the resident population in Singapore.

More facts on the HSA webpage (updated 11 Dec 2017). I wonder if the dip in dengue cases this year provided some relief on the demand.

This Feb 2017 poster from the Red Cross Singapore webpage provides a useful summary of the main facts:

Amanda’s repaying a blood debt – donation number 11!

Amanda was my red jungle fowl and small mammal research student during her third and honours years with me at the Department of Biological Sciences, NUS. That experience transformed her overnight from ‘sua-ku’ urbanite to hardy field worker. The role of her supervisor was an intense one and she and other students joke that the process made me lose lots of blood!

So as payback, we visited the blood centre on a post-thesis expedition to get her started. Amanda was more than ready and has become a regular donor. Recent hectic periods in her career has meant getting to a donation centre has been a struggle, so today she was glad to inform me she was making her 11th donation at the mobile blood donation drive at her school.

Red Cross Singapore says only 1.87% of Singapore residents are blood donors. If you are hale and healthy, visit the Red Cross blood donation page to learn more and book an appointment. You will be able to waltz in, spend no more than an hour, and leave satisfied about having made a meaningful contribution.

Amanda’s 9th blood donation @ Westgate, 25 Jul 2016
20160725 Amanda s blood donation No 09

Amanda’s 10th blood donation @ Westgate, 11 Nov 2016
20161108 athn blood10

Amanda’s 11th blood donation @ ACJC, 07 Jul 2017
20170707 ATHN No11

Post-Ramadhan blood stock, 6th Jul 2017Screenshot 564

Blood stocks for type O, B, AB are low (<55%) – donate a bloody pint this CNY!

Regular blood donor Joelle Lai received a call from the blood bank to donate blood. A check with blood stock levels show that levels are for blood groups O, B, AB are low. Joelle’s blood haemoglobin levels are a little low and she has been rejected as a donor several times!

But she will pay close attention to her diet and try on Sunday. How cool is that?

Only 1.78% of Singapore’s residential population are donors (see 2014 stats below), so do step forward if you are hale and hearty. A bloody red pint donation is a great Chinese New Year gift to a needy patient!

20160202 Blood stocks

Blood Donation Statistics 2014  redcrosssingapore

Starting the new year with my 115th blood donation!

I went down to the Blood Bank @ Outram yesterday to make my first blood donation for the year which was also my 115th blood donation. Meanwhile, Amanda Tan, who began donating in Sep 2012 clocked her 5th donation at a Singapore Bloodmobile session last year.

My 115th (03 Jan 2015) and Amanda’s 5th (16 Nov 2014) blood donation

2015 01 03 12 32 59 2015 01 03 13 12 40

It is possible to make four whole blood donations a year if healthy. Amanda made two donations in the second half of 2012, two in 2013 and only one in 2014 – the flu and the four month wait after visiting a malaria-endemic country delayed her donations. I too only managed ONE blood donation last year! It was a tough year for me.

Ladybug, however, maintained her blood haemoglobin levels high enough to make two donations in 2014! She did make the minimum Hgb level (12.5g/dl) again yesterday but a recent trip to India (malaria-endemic) meant a four month hiatus for donating blood.

With my susceptibility to the flu, I am happy to manage three blood donations a year. Looking back at my record, I see that I mostly managed that over the past decade.

  • 2013 – 3 donations
  • 2012 – 4 donations
  • 2007 – 2011 – 3 donations/year
  • 2006 – 4 donations
  • 2005 – 3 donations
  • 2004 – 7 donations (plasmapheresis)
  • 2003 – 8 donations (plasmapheresis)
  • 2002 – 4 donations
  • 2001 – 5 donations

Although the preferred choice for O+ donors is whole blood, the apheresis nurse may ask me to make platelet donation. It is possible then to make up to eight apheresis donations a year, as the rest interval is shorter. However, my platelet count is at the low end of the range, so they have me alternate with plasma donations if I am frequent – that happened last a decade ago!

Well, whatever happens, with only 1.84% of Singapore’s residential population donating, we all intend to do better in 2015.

Click to read the HSA’s Big Blood Picture 2013
Big Blood Picture 2013

Blood stocks very low so Joelle Lai answers the call – 450ml of still warm blood!

Update – stocks recovered, but keep thinking about donating regularly!

Joelle Lai holds up all 450ml of her blood at the HSA Blood Centre just minutes ago, answering a call for donors. Well done Joelle!

She says,

“Even with low blood pressure, I rustled up 450 ml! It did take a longer time though. I wasn’t allowed to donate until I spent 15 minutes chugging fluids and managed to raise [my blood pressure] to juuust above the ‘okay’ line.

I was in and out within an hour and the nurse entertained my request to snap a picture of me holding my fresh bag of blood in my hands. I love this picture!”

Joelle Lai's blood donation Fri 18 Oct 2013 - 450ml

We need more like her to step forward. After an update since this morning, stocks of three blood types are now “Very Low”.

20131018: 1923 - Singapore Blood Stocks Indicator — Donorweb

Update – Red Cross has issued an appeal for O+ donors this weekend.

Red Cross appeal, Fri 18 Oct 2013

Your blood is needed – national blood stocks are Low or Very Low

Update – stocks recovered, but keep thinking about donating regularly!

I’m down with the flu, and it’ll be month before I’ve cleared the bug enough to head down to the Blood Donor Centre @ HSA.

Meanwhile, blood stocks are low ad are likely to suffer a dip in donations with the flu bug floating around now, the incoming monsoon drowning us in rain and the festive period at year-end.

Already blood stocks are either low or very low. Head down to donate if you can.

Singapore Blood Stocks Indicator — Donorweb

There are THREE Blood Banks in Singapore:

  1. Bloodbank @ HSA, oppo. Outram MRT (closed Mon & PH)
  2. Bloodbank @ Woodlands (closed Tue & PH)
  3. Bloodbank @ Dhoby Ghaut (closed Thu & PH)

Check opening hours at the HSA webpage.

There are also Bloodmobiles operating in various locations every weekend:

Singapore Bloodmobiles — Donorweb

Blood donations! Amanda’s third and my 111st!

Yesterday, my blood-sucking former student Amanda Tan made good her pledge to return some blood by making her THIRD blood donation! I’m really proud of my blood kaki as she used to be fearful of needles.

That fear is not completely erased but lurking somewhere, for a trainee nurse saw her smiling face and yet reassured her that a fully trained nurse would attend to her donation!

When Amanda’s blood started flowing, the machine beeped so the nurse returned to hold her arm at an appropriate angle. This prevented an interrupted flow and took her eight minutes this time to complete her donation. The nurse said this was fine.

Our haemoglobin levels had changed from our last visit, but still high enough – they were 14.4 g/dL and 16.4 g/dl on 22 Dec 2012. Yesterday our levels were 13.6g/dl and 15.7g/dl.

Meanwhile Ladybug cut her finger (again) and once again realised it was a dark red instead of Bandung pink! She must be at at 13g/dl and eligible to donate once her work clears up.

And we’re also waiting for Civetgirl to recover and be rested for her donation. More blood parties soon!

A lovely friend is in hospital, and has lost lots of blood. I’m grateful for the blood she has received from strangers. They have been my inspiration since young.

Amanda is just starting but young and enthusiastic. She is reminding me of Cheng Puay’s Sec 4 girls who started donating at sweet 16!

This was blood donation number 111 for me. I’m happy to keep at this as long as I can.