Only 2.5% of Malaysians donate blood, our Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin revealed last month. That’s pretty low if you ask us. Come on Malaysians, we can do better than this!
Celebrate World Blood Donor Day this year (June 14, 2014) by reconsidering your blood donation efforts. There’s no gift more precious than the gift of blood to someone in need. And there’s nothing to fear too! Donating blood is safe and easy. All your blood is collected through a sterile needle that is only used once. To prove how easy and painless it is, let us walk you through the entire process:
The Simple Blood Donation Process
- Walk in.
- Answer a few questions about your health status and fill out a short form.
- Get a mini physical check up on your temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin content to ensure you’re a healthy donor.
- Lie down and relax on a chair or bed and get your arm cleaned.
- Feel a small prick in your arm from a sterile new needle and watch your blood flow into a special blood bag. You’ll be donating about 350ml to 450ml of blood, depending on your weight.
- Rest and relax for a bit with a light snack and a drink, which will be provided for you.
- Leave knowing you’ve saved three lives.
What Happens to Your Donated Blood?
- Your blood will be separated into components within 8 hours of donation, then taken to the laboratory for testing.
- Once found safe, it will be kept in special storage and released when required.
- At this stage, the blood is ready to be taken to hospitals to save lives.
Can You Donate Blood?
You can donate if you’re:
- Between 18 and 60 years old.
- Weighing 45kg and above.
- Haemoglobin is minimum 12.5 gm%
- Healthy and have not contracted malaria, typhoid or other transmissible disease recently.
You shouldn’t donate if you:
- Are feeling unwell (chesty cough, head cold, sore stomach, sore throat etc)
- Are currently taking antibiotics
- Have cardiac problems, hypertension, epilepsy, diabetes, history of diseases etc.
- Had a major surgery in the last half year.
- Have been vaccinated in the last 24 hours.
- Drank alcohol in the last 24 hours.
- Have shared a needle to inject drugs / have a history of drug addiction.
- Have sexual relations with different partners or with a high-risk individual.
- Have been tested positive for antibodies to HIV.
- Had a tattoo or other cosmetic treatments involving skin piercing in the last 6 months.
- Had dental treatment in the last 7 days.
Fun Facts About Blood Donation:
- Men can donate once every 3 months, and women once every four months.
- You usually donate about 13% of your blood volume, but your body very quickly makes more to replace the lost blood.
- After donating blood, you can help replace your iron levels by eating foods rich in iron like lean red meat, poultry, fish, green leafy veggies, brown rice and so forth.
- Your blood is made up of mostly water, so drink up after you donate and it’ll help bring your blood volume levels back to normal.
- You won’t feel drained or tired after donating blood, as long as you’ve had enough fluids and a good meal.
- You will not get AIDS from donating blood.
Where to Donate?
There are always blood donation drives going on throughout the country. So keep your eyes peeled and only donate if they’re from legitimate bodies.
Otherwise, you can always head over to the National Blood Centre of Malaysia (Pusat Darah Malaysia) which is open daily (opening hours vary, check here for timings or call 03-2613 2657 / 03-2613 2658 / 03-2613 2776 for any enquiries).
Have a good time saving lives!