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How Many of you donate blood regularly
never
63%
 63%  [ 7 ]
once in a blue moon
9%
 9%  [ 1 ]
once a year
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
a few times a year
27%
 27%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 11

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Zeny
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:01 pm    Post subject: A plea for blood Reply with quote

ASIAONE / HEALTH / NEWS / STORY

Sat, Jan 31, 2009
The Straits Times

A plea for blood

By Dr Ang Peng Tiam

I would like to begin this article by saying sorry to a young medical officer at the National Blood Centre (NBC). I was rude over the phone to him recently. Please accept my sincere apologies. On that particular day, I was hard-pressed to get some blood for a patient who desperately needed it.

My staff nurse or I call up the medical officer on duty at NBC almost on a daily basis to ask for blood products - red blood cells, platelets or fresh frozen plasma. These life-sustaining elements are often lacking in cancer patients, partly because of the disease and partly because of the cancer treatment.

That morning, I had seen a patient in her 60s who has ovarian cancer. She has been struggling with the disease for some time. Despite receiving sub-cutaneous erythropoeitin (a growth factor which stimulates the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells) twice a week, her haemoglobin (a measurement of red blood cells) was only 8g/dl compared to 11.5g/dl in healthy adults. This is highly inadequate.

She was already feeling tired and needed to receive more chemotherapy that day. Without the blood transfusion, I knew that she was going to be feeling worse over the next few days.

She needed the haemoglobin which is an iron-containing protein found inside red blood cells and is responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. When haemoglobin is low, the patient is said to be anaemic.

These patients are easily fatigued and have an unusually rapid heart rate. They get short of breath and feel giddy. In the elderly and in those with underlying heart disease, anaemia may lead to heart failure.

So, when the medical officer refused my request for blood, I was most upset.

I have no excuse for my bad behaviour except that I was feeling totally frustrated that almost every festive season, the stocks in our blood bank run low and we have to 'beg' for blood products on behalf of our patients.

Whenever blood stocks are low, the Blood Centre has to start rationing in case of emergencies. Instead of transfusing two units of blood, anaemic patients are allocated only one. Sometimes they get none because of the shortage. These patients simply have to bear with their symptoms until they get a blood transfusion or till the body recovers.

According to some media reports, Hong Kong has a consistently good stock of blood in its bank. I asked my colleague Kian Fong, who has worked in Hong Kong, to find out if this is indeed true. He contacted his friend (also a doctor) working there, who confirmed that it is.

The public, this doctor said, is very supportive of the blood bank. The Red Cross, celebrities and the media all play a strong role in promoting blood donations. For example, in June each year on World Blood Donor Day, the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service (BTS) organises a series of activities to celebrate with the blood donors, their families and friends. Some patients recount how their lives have been saved by blood transfusions and use the opportunity to express gratitude to the donors.

In 2007, a mother, who nearly died from massive blood loss after delivering her baby, shared her personal near-death experience. In addition, a drama film was produced by BTS featuring the lives of three girls after their mother died in childbirth.

Throughout the year, the mass media promotes blood donation drives. Celebrities are often roped in to encourage friends, fans and supporters to donate blood.

I am convinced that we can do as well if not better.

Do Singaporeans care about their fellow men? Do they know that our supplies are so low that they have to be rationed? Should we not do more to keep our stock levels higher to ensure that patients who need blood transfusions can get them?

I feel that our reserves of blood are depleted because of lack of information, not lack of heart.

During the Spyros fire, Singapore's worst industrial accident in October 1978, 76 people died and many of those who were wounded suffered extensive burns. There was a call for blood donations as large quantities of blood plasma were needed to treat the burns victims. I remember the long queues of Singaporeans and foreign workers lining up to donate blood.

It clearly showed that Singaporeans will rise to the occasion when they hear the cry for help.

The year-end holidays are a time for family, friends and feasts for many. A time of plenty and comfort. For my colleagues and their patients, however, it is a time of worry and fast tempers.

It takes so little time but gives so much to those in need. So please make a trip to the blood bank today.

angpt@parkwaycancercentre.com

Dr Ang, the medical director of Parkway Cancer Centre, has been treating cancer patients for nearly 20 years. In 1996, he was awarded Singapore's National Science Award for his outstanding contributions to medical research.


This article was first published in Mind Your Body, The Straits Times on Jan 29, 2009
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Daknioelh
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Joined: 18 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me regular but stop as i got chicken pox and was force to stop and just finish my hep b and a injection. I am ready to go again. Finally. Giving blood is so good. I love to give more if i could.
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Applefreak
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thought got to wait 6 months after the last injection?
i too wish more people will become a blood donor
now only 1% of eligible population are regular donors Sad

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Flyersummer
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

those underweight can't give blood
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Applefreak
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

underweight still can give blood (according to the BMI measurement)
only those under 50kg cannot
this has something to do with the amount of blood in proportion to the body weight of the person

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666
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this an apology letter or request for blood from public.

Last time i remember got those mobile vans,big promotion exercise,donation drive in cc, schools,wk place etc.

Now is almost non existence. last time i donate blood was at my place a year ago which i would donate whenever there is an excercise

Nw i cant remember where can i donate blood.

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Applefreak
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

now still have
you can check the red cross website for the location
if not, just take an MRT down to Outram Park and donate at the blood bank Very Happy

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Carol Ho
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Applefreak wrote:
underweight still can give blood (according to the BMI measurement)
only those under 50kg cannot
this has something to do with the amount of blood in proportion to the body weight of the person

Don't think those under 50kg cannot give blood, I have donated blood when I was 45kg. U r rite to say that it is according to the BMI measurement, since 45kg is the ideal weight for my height.
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Honey575
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im 40kg 150cm. If the requirement is based on BMI, can i donate?
I have not donated blood before.
But i have assisted when i was a student nurse. Smile
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Xfactor
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I donated once before many many years back and didnt after that. Wonder if I heard wrongly or not but they said my blood is suitable for lab testing/experimenting purposes not suitable to use it on other people, though the nurse did not say I cannot donate anymore. But I see no point donating anymore if I cant help other people.
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Applefreak
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

paiseh, just realised they drop it to 45kg
the requirement is NOT based on BMI

xfactor, i think you heard wrongly bah
they won't be able to know just looking at your blood
they'll have to do tests upon tests to confirm that the blood can(not) be used for transfusion
anyway using for experimenting is also helping people mah
who knows, maybe your blood is the key to longevity Very Happy

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Xfactor
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Applefreak wrote:
paiseh, just realised they drop it to 45kg
the requirement is NOT based on BMI

xfactor, i think you heard wrongly bah
they won't be able to know just looking at your blood
they'll have to do tests upon tests to confirm that the blood can(not) be used for transfusion
anyway using for experimenting is also helping people mah
who knows, maybe your blood is the key to longevity Very Happy


For your info they did not just look at my blood. It was indeed tested. I only knew about it after I had donated my blood.
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Kelson^|
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Xfactor wrote:
Applefreak wrote:
paiseh, just realised they drop it to 45kg
the requirement is NOT based on BMI

xfactor, i think you heard wrongly bah
they won't be able to know just looking at your blood
they'll have to do tests upon tests to confirm that the blood can(not) be used for transfusion
anyway using for experimenting is also helping people mah
who knows, maybe your blood is the key to longevity Very Happy


For your info they did not just look at my blood. It was indeed tested. I only knew about it after I had donated my blood.


lol tats for sure becoz they need to ensure the donated blood r clean n save to use or else it wld be a danger for the receiving end of those donated bloods Nod

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Sherbetgal
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i cant donate as im anaemic.. by hubby donate once-twice a year, does it count? hehehe.. so i didnt vote hehe
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Not
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

donate ard twice a year... normally at HSA
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