On World Blood Donor Day, health experts and patient advocacy groups advocated for promoting blood donation and stressed on its safety aspect in view of paucity of blood amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This year, World Blood Donor Day is focused on the theme ‘safe blood saves lives’ and calls for action to provide adequate resources and put in place systems and infrastructures to increase blood collection from voluntary, non-remunerated donors, to provide quality donor care and to set up systems for the oversight and surveillance on the whole chain of blood transfusion.

An adequate supply of safe blood can only be assured through regular donations by voluntary blood donors. Statistics say, if you regularly donate blood at the age of 18 that means you could be giving a chance to at least 120 people

Interestingly, an increase of 11.6 million blood donations from voluntary unpaid donors has been reported from 2008 to 2015. In total, 78 countries collect over 90% of their blood supply from voluntary unpaid blood donors; however, 58 countries collect more than 50% of their blood supply from family/replacement or paid donors, according to WHO. It would be important to note that blood donated by those who do it regularly is considered safer than occasional donors.

Blood Donation & Covid-19

COVID-19 infection is something which our generation has not seen. Social distancing, repeated hand hygiene, wearing masks was never a part of our social life, but it is now.

Although COVID-19 does not spread through blood, a COVID-19 positive patient could risk personnel involved in blood collection of infection. Social distancing, infection control measures such as cough etiquette, hand hygiene, disposal of biomedical waste ought to be practiced during blood collection.

Health Benefits of Donating Blood

  • Prevents Hemochromatosis (a health condition that arises due to excess absorption of iron by the body.)
  • Anti-cancer benefits
  • Maintains healthy liver & heart
  • Weight loss
  • Stimulates blood cell production

Requirements for Blood Donors

Prior to heading to blood donation center, don’t forget to take your valid identification like health card. Also get enough sleep prior to the day of donation. Here are some more requirements to make you qualified as a donor as per HMC.

• Must be between 18 to 60 years of age
• Be in good health in general at the day of donation
• Must not have any chronic heart, lung or circulatory illnesses
• Weight must be 50 kg and above
• Donors must not be anaemic, insulin dependent or hypertensive
• Donors must inform the unit about medications being taken
• Pregnant, lactating, or menstruating women may not donate

Where to donate blood in Qatar?

Donors are handled both at the central HMC campus, Blood Donor Center, and at various off-site campaigns throughout Qatar. Here is the contact details of HMC Blood Donor Center.

HMC Blood Donor Center

Location: Al Rayyan Road
Phone: +974-44391081
Website: www.hmc.org.qa

Source : The Hindu & Hamad Medical Corporation

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