Group O blood supply at ‘critical levels’, donors urgently needed, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Group O blood supply at ‘critical levels’, donors urgently needed

Eligible donors with O+ or O- blood types are urged to donate blood ahead of an expected dip in collection during the Chinese New Year holiday, with the current supplies at critical levels.

As at Jan 25, stocks for the O+ and O- blood types are listed as critical and low respectively on the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) website.

The low supplies are due to the high usage of both blood types and lower-than-normal donations in 2024 so far, the SRC and the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said in a joint statement on Jan 25.

“If group O blood stocks continue to drop, elective surgeries will have to be postponed and life-saving transfusions could also be compromised,” the statement said, adding that group O blood stocks can now last fewer than six days instead of the minimum nine-day stockpile.

As the universal blood group, group O blood is needed during emergencies when patients’ blood groups are unknown.

Furthermore, nearly half of all patients in Singapore have group O blood and can receive only these blood types.

Blood collection can dip by up to 20 per cent during festive seasons, such as the upcoming Chinese New Year, making it crucial that the group O blood supply be restored to healthy levels as soon as possible, said both organisations.

SRC and HSA urged those with blood groups O+ and O-, who weigh at least 45kg and are between the ages of 16 and 60, to donate blood.

Both organisations encouraged people to donate before travelling to countries or regions with insect-borne infection risks, which may make them ineligible to donate blood for a period of time.

New donors or those who have travelled in the last four months can check their eligibility at, and donors aged 16 or 17 years must have a signed parental consent form obtained from the HSA website.

Donations can be made at blood banks in Outram, Dhoby Ghaut, Woodlands, Westgate Tower and One Punggol, or at SRC’s community blood drives.

All blood banks will be closed on the first two days of Chinese New Year (Feb 10 and 11).

Community and corporate groups can also call SRC on 6220-0183 or e-mail to organise group donations.

SRC and HSA advised donors to have enough rest the night before donating, and a light meal with plenty of fluids on the day of donation.

“Each donation is crucial to ensure that we can... respond to any civil or medical emergencies in Singapore,” the statement said.