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Singapore

Blood stocks improve to 'moderate levels' following donation appeals

A fifth of those who donated blood recently were first-time donors.

Blood stocks improve to 'moderate levels' following donation appeals

A volunteer donates blood. (File photo: AFP/Fred Dufour)

SINGAPORE: Blood stocks in Singapore have improved to “moderate levels” after recent appeals that resulted in more than 10,000 donors stepping forward, said the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) and the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) on Monday (Aug 8).

Health authorities in Singapore said in early July that stocks of A+ and O+ blood had run low. Health Minister Ong Ye Kung appealed for donations, saying major elective surgeries requiring those two blood units were at risk of being postponed.

In an update a week after, Mr Ong said that blood donations in Singapore saw a 45 per cent increase after the appeal but more blood was still needed, as the stocks for all blood types were still not at healthy levels. 

Since the two appeals, more than 10,000 donors - representing all blood groups - had come forward to donate blood, said SRC and HSA in a joint press release. “Among them, about 21 per cent were first-time donors and about 15 per cent were youth donors.” 

The authority needs to collect about 400 units of blood every day to meet daily needs. 

“Reduced donations during long weekends, school holidays and festive holidays, as well as sudden increases in blood usage, can cause the blood stock to dip,” it added. 

“Your blood donations have saved many of us. Every pack of blood makes a difference, and I thank all donors, regardless of your blood group,” said Ms Amirah Arman, 27, who receives a blood transfusion every three weeks. 

Born with a genetic blood disorder - Beta Thalassemia Major - her body is unable to reproduce red blood cells. She has been receiving monthly blood transfusions since she was seven years old.  

"As blood has a short shelf life of six weeks for red cells and seven days for platelets, we would like to seek the continued support of blood donors," said the authorities adding that it hopes to seek the continued support of blood donors to donate at least twice a year.

"This will ensure that there is always sufficient blood for patients in Singapore."

Those who are interested to donate blood may visit giveblood.sg to check their eligibility and make an appointment. Residents can also walk into any blood bank or community blood drive to donate.

Source: CNA/yb(ac)

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