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More than 41,000 donate blood in Dubai this year
A new tent has been set up next to the Dubai Blood Donation Centre to ensure social distancing for the safety of donors.
Some 41,635 residents had donated blood this year, helping the Dubai Blood Donation Centre (DBDC) ensure sufficient supply for patients in need, especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
A total of 42,493 blood units were donated from the beginning of the year until August 18, the centre said. Out of this, 26,959 units were distributed to Dubai Health Authority (DHA) hospitals, while 15,534 were issued to private healthcare facilities.
Around 195 recovered Covid-19 patients also came to the centre to give their plasma, which is used in therapies to boost the immunity of severely affected coronavirus patients.
"We highly appreciate the generous contributions of voluntary blood donors who continue to donate blood even during the pandemic," said Dr Mai Raouf, director of DBDC.
New blood donation tent, extended hours
To ensure that social distancing is maintained for the safety of donors, a new fixed blood donation site has been set up next to the centre.
Dr Farida Al Khaja, CEO of the DHA's clinical support services and nursing sector, said this tent could accommodate 70 to 250 donors a day.
"The centre has a spacious waiting area and post-donation refreshment area. It is equipped with 12 beds and modern medical equipment. It also has a personal sanitisation tunnel, thermal camera and follows a frequent cleaning policy for beds and surfaces after each donor," said Dr Al Khaja.
New conditions for donating blood were also put in place during the pandemic, she added.
"Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have put in place new conditions for donating blood, which includes deferral for those coming from abroad from donating blood for two weeks," she said.
Extending its working hours to meet customers' needs, the centre is now open from 7am to 8.30pm, Sunday to Thursday, Dr Raouf said. Additional parking lots were also made available.
The DBDC, the only blood donation centre in Dubai, provides around 50 per cent of the total blood collected throughout the country.
Dr Hussain Al Samt, director of the department of pathology and genetics, said it provides services that include collecting whole blood and double red blood cells donations, platelet apheresis, medical counselling for blood donors with infectious diseases, and convalescent plasma from recovered Covid-19 patients.
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