As of 2022, Singapore had just only 74,1154 blood donors, making up only 1.82% of our residents. Together, they are responsible for meeting all the blood needs of our entire population. As we ought to know, the act of donating blood is a noble and life-affirming gesture that not only saves lives but also provides incredible meaning for donors. If you’ve ever wondered about how you can make a blood donation in Singapore, this guide will provide you with all the information you need.
From why you should consider donating blood to where you can donate and what to expect before, during, and after your donation, we’ve got you covered.
Why should I donate blood?
1. It helps to save lives
A compelling reason to donate blood is the opportunity to save lives. Blood transfusions are vital in various medical situations, often where the patient is in mortal danger including surgeries, cancer treatments, trauma care, and for patients with medical conditions like anaemia.
2. There may be additional health benefits
Did you know that blood donation is not only safe for healthy adults, but can potentially bring about additional health benefits? A study suggests that regular blood donation can lead to lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart attacks.
Donating a single pint of blood also burns up to 650 calories as your body will need to work to restore your blood supply. All in all, it can be a win-win!
3. Rising local demand for blood
Demand for blood in Singapore is on the rise from 110,823 units in 2018 to 115,794 units last year. Donating blood ensures a steady and sufficient supply for those in need, including accident victims, surgical patients, and individuals with chronic illnesses. Currently, the only way Singapore can replenish its blood supply stocks is through blood donation. By donating blood, you can do your part to help keep our healthcare system afloat.
4. Make a difference to your community
Blood donation is an incredibly meaningful way to support your community and be part of a collective effort to provide life-saving resources. Your contribution to society will be tangible and highly impactful.
Where can I donate blood in Singapore?
Now that you’re motivated to donate blood, the next step is to find a convenient blood donation location in Singapore. Singapore currently has five bloodbanks:
Address: Health Sciences Authority (Opposite Outram Park MRT Station), 11 Outram Road Singapore 169078
2. Bloodbank@Dhoby Ghaut
Address: Dhoby Xchange (Near Exit B), #B1-05 to 10, 11 Orchard Road, Singapore 238826
Address: Woodlands Civic Centre (Opposite Causeway Point), 900 South Woodlands Drive, #05-07 Singapore 730900
4. Bloodbank@Westgate Tower
Address: Westgate Tower (Jurong East MRT Station, Exit D, walk through Westgate), 1 Gateway Drive, #10-01 to 05, Singapore 608531
5. Bloodbank@One Punggol
Address: One Punggol, 1 Punggol Drive,#02-38, Singapore 828629
Click here to book your appointment via Singpass now.
What to expect during the blood donation process in Singapore
Now that you’ve chosen a blood donation centre, here’s what you can expect:
1. Duration of your appointment:
A typical blood donation appointment lasts approximately 45 minutes to one hour. This includes the time for registration, a brief medical checkup, the donation process, and post-donation refreshments.
2. Short health assessment:
Before you donate, a healthcare professional will conduct a brief health assessment, which includes checking your haemoglobin levels, iron levels, and ensuring you are in good health on that day.
3. The donation process:
The actual blood donation process usually takes about 10-15 minutes. It involves drawing a specific volume of blood from your arm. It’s a painless procedure, and you’ll be comfortably seated during this time.
4. Snacks and drinks:
After you’ve completed your donation, you’ll be provided with snacks and drinks. This helps in your recovery and ensures that you leave the centre feeling well-nourished.
5. Rest and recovery:
After donating, it’s essential to rest for a few minutes to ensure you feel well before leaving. Drink and eat as you need.
Do note that as well that your blood donation information will be recorded, including your blood type and any specific details about your donation. This data is crucial for maintaining an organized and safe blood supply.
What should I do before I donate blood?
Preparing for a blood donation can contribute to a successful and comfortable experience. Here are some steps to take before your appointment:
1. Check that you are eligible
Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for blood donation in Singapore. This includes factors such as age, weight, and general health. You can find detailed eligibility guidelines on the websites of the blood banks mentioned earlier, or take a short 5-minute quiz by the Health Authority of Singapore.
2. Schedule your appointment
While some centres accept walk-in donors, scheduling an appointment in advance is recommended to avoid long waiting times and ensure that the donation process goes as smoothly as possible.
Appointments can be made via the DonateBlood mobile app, which you can download on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, as well as the web portal. You will be prompted to log in with your Singpass account.
Alternatively, you may call 62200183 to book an appointment. It is advisable to make an appointment at least a day in advance.
3. Eat iron-rich foods
In the weeks leading up to your donation, include iron-rich foods in your diet. Foods like lean meats, beans, fortified cereals, and leafy greens can help boost your iron levels and prepare you for the donation.
4. Get sufficient rest
Ensure you get a good night’s sleep before your appointment. Being well-rested can help reduce the chances of feeling lightheaded or fatigued after donating blood.
5. Eat a healthy, filling meal before you donate blood
About three hours before your appointment, have a nutritious and filling meal. Include a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats in your pre-donation meal. Avoid heavy, fatty foods, as they can affect the quality of your blood. More importantly, avoid going to your blood donation appointment on an empty stomach.
6. Wear comfortable clothes
Choose a T-shirt or clothing with sleeves that can be easily rolled up, as this will make it more convenient for the healthcare provider to access your veins for the blood donation process.
7. Inform your loved ones
Let your family, friends, or colleagues know that you’re donating blood. This not only serves as a safety precaution but also allows them to provide support and understanding if you need some time to recover afterwards.
8. Let the healthcare providers know if you have taken any medications
If you are currently taking any medications, inform the healthcare provider at the blood bank. Some medications may affect your eligibility or the donation process.
What should I avoid before donating blood?
Preparing for a successful blood donation also means knowing what to avoid beforehand. Here’s what you should refrain from doing:
1. Don’t smoke or drink
Refrain from smoking or consuming alcoholic beverages at least 24 hours before your appointment. Smoking can affect the oxygen-carrying capacity of your blood, while alcohol can lead to dehydration.
2. Don’t eat immediately before donating blood
Avoid eating large or heavy meals right before your donation. Doing so may cause nausea and discomfort during the donation process. Instead, ensure that there is at least a three-hour long window between your meal and your appointment.
What should I avoid doing after my appointment?
After donating blood, aftercare and precautions are necessary to ensure your well-being and recovery. Some activities you should avoid are:
1. Heavy lifting
Refrain from lifting or carrying heavy items for at least 12 hours after donating blood. This helps prevent strain and reduces the risk of injury.
2. Strenuous activities
It’s advisable to avoid strenuous exercises or engaging in physically demanding activities for the next 24 hours. Rest and allow your body to recover fully.
When can I donate blood again?
Depending on the exact type of blood donation, different waiting times apply. Whole blood donors should wait 12 weeks while apheresis blood donors should wait 4 weeks before donating blood again.
The interval allows your body sufficient time to replenish the donated blood components fully.
Donating blood is a selfless act that can make a significant difference in the lives of those in need. It’s an opportunity to save lives, support your community, and make Singapore a better place to live in.
If you’d like to contribute even more to Singapore’s healthcare system, why not consider joining Homage as a caregiver? Through Homage’s home care and therapy services, you’ll get to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of individuals around you in tangible and direct ways.
If you are searching for elderly care options, we can assist you with home care, including night care and respite care, as well as home therapy and nursing services.
We hope this guide has been useful as you consider blood donation. Remember, every drop counts, and your contribution can truly save lives. Thank you for considering blood donation and for being a hero in someone’s life.
- HSA | Blood facts and figures. (2023, August 29). HSA. https://www.hsa.gov.sg/blood-donation/blood-facts-and-figures
- Hamzah, F. (2023, August 19). CNA Explains: What happens when Singapore’s blood stocks hit low or critical? CNA. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/blood-stocks-singapore-donate-demand-levels-cna-explains-hsa-red-cross-3707776
- Michael. (n.d.). Where to Donate Blood? Singapore Red Cross. Retrieved October 1, 2023, from https://redcross.sg/give-blood/where-to-donate-today.html
- What to do Before, During and After a Donation. (n.d.). Retrieved October 1, 2023, from https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/blood-donation-process/before-during-after.html
- Michael. (n.d.). Can I Donate Blood? Singapore Red Cross. Retrieved October 1, 2023, from https://redcross.sg/give-blood/can-i-donate-blood.html