The beds were ready. The nurses were poised. The donors were queued. AIS hosted their second Blood Drive on the 8th September 2022, with flowing blood and feverous drive.
We made the process for donors at the AIS Drive as easy and simple as possible. Arrive. Complete some paperwork. Answer some doctor questions. Lie down and donate. Recoup with a snack.
For AIS students, giving blood is fostering the idea at an early age about how important it is to just be a healthy person. If you are in good physical fitness and meet the requirements, then you can donate. “The Blood Drive is a highly important event to the school community,” explains Hugh Solomon, Community Service Prefect. “It allows for individuals to contribute and change peoples’ lives. Despite the sore arm afterwards I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would do it again in an instant.”
Why are blood drives so important in Singapore
Mobile Blood Drives are a popular and efficient way to gather much needed blood from each community they visit and the Singapore community is clearly very generous, as it was so difficult for AIS to secure a slot. According to the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) Liaison Officer Jeslyn Tan, one of the major challenges in collecting blood is recruiting more donors, especially the youth. “In 2021, a total of more than 110,000 bags of blood were collected from 69,000 donors! While that is a significant number, only 1.73% of Singapore’s residential population donates blood. Therefore not only do we need more donors to step forward, but for donors to return regularly in order to help maintain the supply of blood to patients in need year round.”
- 15 units of blood are used in each hour of each day.
- 120,000 units of blood are needed each year to meet patients’ transfusion needs.
- Daily, that is more than 400 units of blood!
- Just one bag of blood can save three lives.
- Additionally, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) keeps a nine day stockpile of blood to ensure sufficient supply during times of emergency.
The Drive was successful at AIS in that the SRC could raise awareness of blood donation in the form of promotion and recruitment of donors.
Jeslyn shared with us what happened next, “There is a common misconception that blood is mostly used for emergencies. Blood is also needed to sustain the lives of those with medical conditions, like leukaemia, thalassaemia and bleeding disorders, as well as patients who are undergoing major surgeries. It’s nice to note that each whole blood donation can save 3 lives because the blood is separated into 3 components – namely, plasma, platelets and red blood cells. Each component has a different shelf life and specific use for different types of patients.”
Jeslyn adds, “During a donation, only 350 to 450 ml of blood is drawn. Depending on your weight, about 8% to 12% of your blood volume is taken during blood donation. The fluid (plasma) portion of your donated blood will be replaced in a few days. Each donation takes no more than 450 ml (about 350ml for ladies) and is replaced by the body within 72 hours with sufficient intake of fluids. The amount of blood taken is approx 8-12% of the total blood volume – which will not harm your body or weaken your immune system.”
Thank you to the Red Cross for running the event and for all AIS Community members who made the drive happen.
How do I donate?
Visit this page for all information. AIS even has their own code: S0003 – which means you can head to any Blood bank and add to our total. We look forward to hosting the next Blood Drive in 2023! Stay tuned!