Guys, the national blood bank needs you!
The number of people donating blood since the Movement Control Order (MCO) started has declined by 40 per cent, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has said during his daily press conference on 20 May.
“The drop is worrying considering more elective services are being carried out at hospitals, including surgeries (which means an increase from an average of 9,000 packs per week to 13,076 packs per week).
“There has also been a five to 10 per cent increase in the number of accident cases requiring hospital treatment,” he added.
Dr Noor Hisham said that there should always be an excess of blood supply as blood trasfusion is crucial for many medical procedures, including treatment of accident victims, pregnant women with bleeding complications, premature infants, cancer and thalassemia patients, those undergoing major surgeries and others.
It is not uncommon for the number of people donating blood to go down during festive period and as such, the National Blood Bank has extended its operations till 9pm.
Where can you donate blood?
If you're a first time donor and unsure of where to donate blood, worry not as the National Blood Bank has a pretty comprehensive guide on how and where you can donate one its website.
Beside the National Blood Bank on Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur and Mid Valley, you can donate your blood at most hospitals.
The blood bank also organises blood donation drives at various places (yes, even during this pandemic) and you can find the list of places on any given date on the website or on its official social media pages.
Who can donate
Most people who are healthy can donate blood but before you head to your nearest fascility, check if you fulfill all there criterias:
- You are between the age of 18 and 60, if you're a first time donor. If you've donated before, the age limit is 65. 17-year-olds can also donate with parental consent.
- Your weight is 45 kilograms and above.
- You're not on long term medication.
- You're not fasting.
- You've had at least five hours of sleep,
- You haven't consumed alcohol or any form of drugs in the past 24 hours.
- You're not menstruating, pregnant or had any miscarriages in the past six months.
- You haven't had any new piercings or tattoos in the past year.
- You did not live in United Kindom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands) or the Republic of Ireland from 1980 to 1996 for a period of six months (cumulative) or more
- You have not lived in Europe since 1980 for a period of five years (cumulative) or more.
Is it safe to donate blood during COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes, it is, or the Health Ministry would not be asking you to donate blood.
On its website, the National Blood Bank has said that there hasn't been any COVID-19 positive cases that happened because of blood donations.
Furthermore, all equipment including the bed you will be lying on are sanitised after each use to ensure donor's safety.
So, don't worry and go donate some blood. Make sure you drink plenty of water and eat something throught the day as well!