Following an appeal by the Health Science Authority (HSA) to encourage citizens to donate blood last week, the people of Singapore have joined hands and managed to boost Singapore’s blood stock by 70 percent within a three-day stretch.
HSA, which runs Singapore’s blood banks, said to TODAY that it accumulated more than 1,900 “whole blood” donations, which is about 70 percent more than what it would normally receive on the weekend and Monday.
The stocks, which were collected from last Saturday (15 February) to Monday, has increased the country’s blood stocks to above six days’ supply, HSA noted. However, the Authority emphasised that more blood is still required.
It is reported that maintaining a minimum of six days of blood stock at all times is crucial for daily transfusion needs and bleeding emergencies.
For those who are not aware, whole blood is the most common type of blood donated by people, and it is when the blood is taken in its complete form, without being separated to different components.
Last Friday (14 February), HSA responded to TODAY’s enquiry stating that it is requesting for people to donate blood as the national blood stocks have dipped to low or critical levels.
“Our blood stocks are currently trending downwards. We, therefore, strongly urge donors who are healthy and eligible to step forward as our patients really need your support during this challenging period,” HSA said.
Separately, Singapore Red Cross also said on its website that on Friday, the stocks for A+, B+, O+ and AB+ have gone to “critical” levels, whereas A-, B- and AB- blood types were “low”.
After the appeal was made public, throngs of people were seen queuing up to donate, and it even prompted politicians like Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu to donate blood and encourage Singaporeans to do the same.
Besides her, MP for Nee Soon GRC Louis Ng Kok Kwang said on his Facebook that he donated to help with the shortage, and urged Singaporeans to help increase the supply as well.
Additionally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also took to his Facebook yesterday (19 February) to thank those who did their part in increasing the shortage of blood supply at the blood banks.
However, he urged people to still come forward and donate as the blood banks are still short of A- and AB- blood types.
More blood is still needed
Despite the overwhelming response from the public, HSA noted that the blood banks are still running low of supply.
It explained that it needs 1,500 group O blood donors, 750 group A donors and 750 group B donors in the next two to four weeks in order to ensure the blood stocks come back to healthy levels.
“As blood has a short shelf life of six weeks, regular donations are needed to ensure that we have sufficient blood to meet patients’ needs,” HSA said.
It added, “Therefore, we urge blood donors to make an appointment whenever they are due for donations.”
When the blood stocks drop to the critical levels, healthy donors are crucially needed and encouraged to donate on the same day itself. For blood types with low stocks, it’s best if the donors donate blood within the week.