Singapore Red Cross (SRC) and Health Sciences Authority (HSA) are calling for blood donors to help restock the low levels for all blood groups, particularly type O.
On Wednesday (11 December), SRC and HSA said in a statement that the amount of type O blood in stock is only at half of the needed level, noting that the universal blood group is required during emergencies when the patients’ blood type is unknown.
While being a universal donor, those with blood type O can only receive blood from the same group – and that’s half of the patients in Singapore.
So over the next three weeks, 1,500 people with type O, 750 people with type A and 750 people with type B blood are needed to donate blood in order to increase the national blood stock back to healthy levels.
“This will ensure that we have enough blood to support patients’ transfusion needs and medical emergencies in Singapore,” said the SRC and HSA.
Donors are requested to head to the Bloodbank at HSA, Dhoby Ghaut, Woodlands, or Westgate Tower to donate blood.
Donors are also required to be healthy individuals aged between 16 to 60 and weigh at least 45kg. People who have not donated blood in the past 12 weeks are also encouraged to be donors.
If you’re donating blood, it is advised that you eat a light meal and drink lots of fluids before a donation, making sure also to get enough rest the night before and on the day of donation.
Parental consent is required for donors aged 16 and 17 years old. The form can be found on the HSA website.
If you’ve not donated blood before, you can visit the HSA website for more information or make a donation appointment.
Blood donation in Singapore declining
In a previous article on TOC, we’ve talked about how blood donation in Singapore has been on the decline, as in most developed countries. Between 2008 and 2018, there was a decline of nearly 23,000 donors to just 18,000 donors a year in the 16 to 25-year-old age group. Young people are simply not donating much in Singapore.
According to the HSA, Singapore needs about 325 units of blood a day and 118,750 units a year as of 2018. However, in that same year, only 115,826 whole units of blood were donated.
And blood isn’t something that can be kept indefinitely for a long time when it is in its complete form – only being stored for 35 days after being donated. This means there’s only so much blood that can be stored at any given times. That’s why it’s imperative for a country to have a steady supply of blood being donated throughout the year.
Helpfully, the SRC website has a meter which shows the latest levels of blood supply available in Singapore. For example, as of 11 December 2019, the stock of O, A, and B positive blood are all at critical levels. While the rest are in moderate levels with the exception of B positive which is at a healthy level.