My husband had been wanting to be a blood donor, but never taken that first step until 6 months ago. It all started after he learnt that one of his subordinates is a regular blood donor. These are what he shared with me:
Whichever way you view it, blood donation is still voluntary. Peer pressure to lead by example spur my husband to partake in his first blood donation (hm…in addition to the time-offs he granted them for this event, maybe it is peer support too that his subordinate turned up for their organized donation ). Peer support makes the whole process of donation fun and makes regular blood donation possible as it becomes a bonding event among colleagues/group-mates/friends.
If you had missed the Mobile Donation Drive in your neighbourhood (http://www.donorweb.org/singapore-bloodmobiles/) and has this sudden urge to donate blood, you can always drop by the permanent Bloodbank@HSA (near Outram Park MRT Station). While there is the option to make an e-Appointment for your donation, my husband was a walked-in donor.
According to my husband, a typical weekday donation process lasted for about an hour (including waiting time). After registration, potential donors will be given a 3-5 page questionnaire comprising health and lifestyle questions and declarations. The questionnaire will then be screened before approval is granted for donation. The donor will be further screened to ensure no iron deficiency. At the donation kiosk, donors will be administered with local painkiller. After the donation, donors will be advised to rest for a while before resuming normal activities. Light refreshments are also provided.
Parking is free at HSA for blood donors.
(Me : So did they issue you with a coupon to redeem the free carpark voucher?
Husband rolling his eyes : No need any coupon la… the bandage is so obvious! )
Donors are issued with iron tablets to facilitate speedier blood regeneration, but my husband did not feel the need for such supplements (he scared of constipation).
As per husband’s experience, when he donated blood during his birth month, HSA issued a token keychain which he proudly hang on his mobile. To him, the act of blood donation gives him purpose and he feels good about it. Additionally, to his knowledge, as donors should refrain from any form of medication within 3 days from next donation (for injection, there is a waiting time of 1 year before one can donate his blood again) and shouldn’t fall sick 3 weeks from donation, he is now more conscious of his health as he did not want to miss his following donation event. But then again, being women of the house, my mother-in-law and I will harbor mixed feelings every time we see my husband’s bandaged arm after the donation event. But since we do not have the courage to donate blood, the next best thing we can do is to give him support for this decision that he has made – making blood donation part of his lifestyle.