Blood Banks Implementing Crowd Control & Safe-Distancing Measures, So Donors Will Be Safe

As we all know, essential services are still open during the ‘Circuit Breaker’ period — and it may be interesting to note that that includes blood banks too.

What’s less commonly known is that blood has a shelf life, and a short one. Red blood cells last 6 weeks, while platelets have only 5 days.

And blood is used more often than you might think — 15 units of blood are used in Singapore every hour, according to the Red Cross. That means about 120,000 units are required every year so ensure patients have enough for transfusion.

That’s why our national blood supply needs constant replenishing. Currently, it’s critically low on O- and AB- blood.

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Safety proceedures for donating blood during Covid-19 pandemic

You may be concerned about donating blood during the Covid-19 pandemic. Don’t be.

Other than the usual safety requirements for donors, blood banks now have additional measures to ensure both donors and workers stay safe during this pandemic.

All donors will undergo temperature screenings and health checks, and have to meet the following requirements:

  • No fever in the last 28 days
  • No respiratory symptoms in the last 7 days
  • No overseas travel in the last 14 days
  • No contact with Covid-19 patients, whether suspected or confirmed

Beside, crowd control and safe-distancing measures that will be observed at the blood bank, the premises will also be disinfected more regularly.

Visitors and all staff will be required to wear masks at all times.

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Donors should make an appointment before visiting

In addition to the measures mentioned above, donors are strongly encouraged to make an appointment for a faster, more efficient visit.

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To make an appointment, you can use SingPass or call the Red Cross at 6220 0183. Visit the Red Cross website here for more information before you head down.

Community blood drives in April & May

If it’s too inconvenient to go down to the four blood banks (Health Sciences Authority, Dhoby Xchange, Woodlands Civic Centre and Westgate Tower), consider going to a community blood drive to donate instead.

Donors are still strongly encouraged to call in at 6220 0183 before visiting them, to check their eligibility and make an appointment.

Here are the details of some upcoming community blood donation drives:

April 2020

  • Christ Church Secondary School
    Date: 30 Apr (Thurs)
    Time: 10am – 4pm
    Address: School Hall
    20 Woodlands Drive 17, Singapore 737924
    Note: Please enter by the side gate closest to Woodlands South MRT Station Exit 1

May 2020

  • Ang Mo Kio Secondary School
    Date: 2 May (Sat)
    Time: 10am – 4pm
    Address: Multi-Purpose Sports Hall, Level 2 (parking spaces available)
    6 Ang Mo Kio Street 22
    Singapore 569362
  • Chinese Development Assistance Council
    Date: 3 May (Sun)
    Time: 10am – 4pm
    Address: Auditorium, Block A, Level 1
    65 Tanjong Katong Road, Singapore 436957
    Note: Please enter by the side gate (right side) beside the main gate. No parking in the premises for donors. Public car park available at the back of the building.
  • Junyuan Secondary School
    Date: 5 May and 6 May (Tues and Wed)
    Time: 10am – 2pm
    Address: Indoor Sports Hall, Level 2
    11 Tampines Street 84
    Singapore 528933
    Note: Please enter by the side gate nearest to the Indoor Sports Hall (Opposite Blk 853). No parking on premise for donors. Public car park available at nearby blocks

More blood drives will be held around Singapore at various locations throughout the ‘Circuit Breaker’, so be sure to check Red Cross’s website here for regular updates.

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Donate especially if you’re O- or AB-

Many of us have much more free time on our hands now, so if you’re cooped up at home with nothing to do and feel like helping out, do consider donating your blood, especially if you’re type O- or AB-.

Even if your blood type is well-stocked at the moment, the national blood supply constantly needs replenishing, so you can head down to make a donation too.

It’s just one of the little things we can do to support our nation in this time of crisis.

Featured image adapted from Red Cross