Public urged to continue donating blood
Singapore’s O+ blood stock has seen an improvement of close to 230 per cent since a media appeal on Jan 25, but Singaporeans are being urged to continue donating blood both before and after Chinese New Year.
In a joint statement on Feb 4, the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) and Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said blood stocks typically drop by 20 per cent during festive periods and long weekends.
“Therefore, there is a possibility of a decline in group O blood stock, particularly in the first two weeks following Lunar New Year, if the current momentum is not sustained,” they said.
They added that blood has a short shelf life of six weeks for red cells and only seven days for platelets.
HSA chief executive Mimi Choong May Ling called on the public to continue donating blood before and after Chinese New Year to bolster the nation’s blood reserves.
“Your regular donation is crucial to ensure that we always have at least a nine-day stockpile to respond to any civil or medical emergencies in Singapore,” she said.
In their statement, HSA and SRC thanked the 5,300 donors who responded to the Jan 25 appeal. The appeal was sparked by critically low levels of stocks for the O+ and O- blood types.
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.
Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung, in a Facebook post on Feb 4, called the public’s response to the Jan 25 appeal “broad and encouraging”.
He also thanked the donors and noted that they come from diverse backgrounds and include “the young and old, men and women, Singaporeans and non-Singaporeans, civil servants, professionals, business owners, artists and many more”.