Video: Blood donation amid Covid-19 is a safe process, says Abu Dhabi health official

Robust precautionary measures have been taken to ensure safety and well-being of donors and medical staff



by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sat 29 Jan 2022, 2:13 PM

There is no risk of transmission of coronavirus during blood donation, a top official from the health sector in Abu Dhabi has said.

Hamad Saif Saeed Al Nuaimi, manager, Abu Dhabi Blood Bank Services, assured community members that robust precautionary measures have been taken to ensure safety and well-being of donors and medical staff.

Khaleej Times was offered a guided tour of the blood bank, covering the process from registration to donation. This reporter donated blood and found the entire system was absolutely safe.

Al Nuaimi noted that all the three blood donation centres in the emirate - Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra - have been following stringent safety and precautionary measures. The staff gets screened every week for Covid-19, the facility is regularly disinfected, hand sanitisers are placed at key areas, beds are spaced out, wearing of masks and maintaining safe distance is mandatory.

“We have been implementing strict rules to keep our donors and staff safe,” Al Nuaimi said and underlined that those individuals infected with Covid-19 can donate blood, plasma and platelets 10 days after testing positive.

“During the pandemic, we have been able to ensure stable supply of blood units to all the private and public hospitals in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. We also supply to other emirates as per requirement.”

Blood and platelets are required by oncology patients. Blood is needed during pregnancies, surgeries and accidents. In addition, those diagnosed with thalassemia, or sickle cell anaemia require blood therapy every two to three weeks.

“Donating blood brings the community together. Patients who receive blood are thankful to the donors. We encourage everybody to either donate blood or apheresis. We wish to have young donors, especially between 18 to 25 years of age. We are trying to reach out to them in the universities and educate them about the importance of donating blood,” Al Nuaimi said.

Healthy community members between 18 and 65 years of age and weighing above 50kg are eligible to donate. The centre receives two types of donations: blood and apheresis platelets. Blood donors can donate every 56 days and apheresis every 14 days. While blood donation takes 15 minutes, apheresis takes 90 minutes.

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Operational hours are: Abu Dhabi (7am to 10pm), Al Ain (7am to 9pm) and Al Dhafra (7am to 4pm) six days a week, with Saturday being a holiday.

To donate blood, community members can walk-in to any of the three centres. For further details, call: Abu Dhabi (02-8191700), Al Ain (03-7074567) and Al Dhafra (02-8072887).

Before, during and after blood donation

- Get a good night’s sleep

- Eat healthy and stay hydrated

- At the blood bank, register with Emirates ID

- Undergo medical screening and examination

- E-sign a donor’s form

- Drink extra fluids if you feel dehydrated

- Follow instructions and donate blood

- Follow post donation instructions

- Take rest for 10 minutes, drink more fluids


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