PETALING JAYA: Drawing blood may seem daunting to first-time donors, but rest assured it is a simple, quick and safe process that is capable of saving lives.
While blood banks have continued to operate as an essential service in the past two years, National Blood Centre director Dr Noryati Abu Amin said there were additional safety measures in place to minimise the risk of Covid-19.
“For those who plan to come and donate blood, they can prepare by getting an appointment slip from us, bringing their blood donation book (for returning donors) and informing the relevant authorities at roadblocks, who will allow them to pass,” she told FMT.
There are three fixed blood donation sites in the Klang Valley – the National Blood Centre at Jalan Tun Razak, Mid Valley Megamall and Puspanita in Putrajaya.
The centre also updates its Instagram page (@pusatdarahnegara) with a list of locations of their mobile donation sites every day.
Here are some things you need to know if you plan to donate blood.
- Check the National Blood Centre site to register, ensure you meet the criteria and know the nearest blood donation site to you.
- Be well rested with at least five hours of sleep.
- Stay hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day.
- If you are a former Covid-19 patient, you will only be allowed to donate blood 14 days after recovery.
- Vaccine recipients without adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) may donate blood seven days after their vaccination appointment. Those who experience AEFI can donate after seven days of recovery.
On the day of your donation
- Have a meal four hours before your appointment.
- Wear comfortable clothing. For those wearing long sleeves, ensure they can be folded up until the upper part of your arm.
- Bring along your identity card, driver’s licence or passport for registration and identification purposes.
- Drink enough water while waiting your turn to donate blood. You will have your finger pricked to test your blood group and hemoglobin levels.
- Any questions can be directed to a healthcare professional during your consultation session before the donation. The actual blood drawing process will only take up to 10 minutes.
- Enjoy the light refreshments offered for around 15 minutes before resuming your day.
- Be sure to stay hydrated after leaving the blood donation site, with at least eight glasses of water a day.
- Get plenty of rest, especially within the first four hours after donating.
- Donors are discouraged from lifting heavy weights or engaging in strenuous exercise in the next six to eight hours to avoid bruising or swelling at the injection site.
- Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages and direct exposure to sunlight in the next 24 hours to avoid dehydration.
- If you start to feel faint or experience a headache, put all activities on hold and either sit or lie down until you feel better..
- If you continue to feel unwell, seek immediate medical attention at the closest health clinic or call the National Blood Centre at 03-2613 2688.