Blood Donation: Now or Never
The National Blood Centre is currently requesting earnestly for Malaysians to make a blood donation, as the Covid-19 pandemic has brought on a decline in the number of donors and a shortage of supply by 40%. National Blood Centre director said that the movement control order (MCO) had understandably led to blood donation activities being affected, with scheduled donation campaigns cancelled.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the Prime Minister of Malaysia has strongly advised for those who have never donated blood before this, to take the initiative of being a regular blood donor to contribute while maintaining a healthy body, mind, and attitude at the same time.
The Ministry of Health has also provided standard operating procedures (SOP) to ensure the safety of the donor while reducing the risk of Covid-19 during blood donation. Each donor’s bed will be placed at a 1-meter distance as a means of physical distancing with other donors and also the staff.
Despite saving lives by donating blood, many did not know about the “Privileges” given by our government to blood donors. Here’s the list of privileges you are able to enjoy according to your frequency of blood donation:
Terms & condition:
- The duration of the privileges stated is valid start from the last date of donation.
- Donors need to show a certificate book (red book) for the hospital before able to use the privileges as in the table above.
- Ward facilities depend on the current situation in the hospital.
- If the ward as stated in the table above is full, then donors will be placed at a suitable ward.
- These privileges can be used for blood donors only.
- Blood donors who have residency status can utilize these privileges.
Even though blood donating gave a lot of privileges and is the most praiseworthy kind of deed, many people are still trapped in the creepy myth that makes them decide not to donate. These are 5 common myths about donating blood and the real facts:
Myth 1: “I was afraid of getting fat after donating blood!”
- Some people think blood donation uses a lot of energy and that in order to recharge the lost energy and blood, they need to consume more food and water and thus increases their body weight. Truth is, blood donation does not affect body weight.
Myth 2: “I hate needle, it’s going to hurt me badly!”
- Ow, easy man! The small needle can harm your muscular body? It might hurt you for a second but it’ll feel just like a pinch. Trust me! The real fact is, it is just the pinch from the needle, and some pressure on your arm from the tourniquet, the process of donating blood does not hurt. In order to know how a needle prick is, you can just pinch your own inner surface of the ulnar area of your skin.
Myth 3: I was afraid my body would become weak after donating blood and pass out from blood loss.
- It is true that some donors might feel dizzy after donation, but don’t panic! This is not resulting from blood loss but from the dropping of blood pressure or sudden slowdown of heart rate. This could also happen because you’re being too afraid of needles, the surrounding temperature, and many more. In fact, most blood donors feel just fine after their donation. So, my advice, stay calm and drink plenty of water and eat properly before you donate blood
Myth 4: “My blood will run out after donating blood”
- Its blood, my friend. It’s not water that runs out after you consume it. In fact, after you donate your blood, your body will automatically reproduce blood cells to top up what is lost in your body. It can be concluded that you won’t lose the blood in your body when you make a blood donation.
Myth 5: “I can’t donate! I have high cholesterol and high blood pressure”
- Sorry dear, even if you do have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, it doesn’t mean that you are disqualified from donating blood, as long as you are otherwise healthy and not pregnant, or breastfeeding.
After all the myths busted by real facts, are you still worried to donate blood? Can you imagine all the negative impacts of hospitals running out of blood stocks? When blood stocks are limited, it affects patients’ treatment in the hospital. For example:
- A mother undergoing labour difficulties where blood stocks are critical.
- Children getting chemotherapy for cancer, premature babies, and seniors with anaemia need a lot of blood supplies.
- In circumstances, when blood isn’t readily accessible, elective surgeries might need to postpone.
- If a person is critically ill or has met an accident where he lost a decent amount of blood, the donated blood comes into an action, which can help the patient to recover successively.
Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to people in need. You are an outstanding and a special person if you have donated blood even once. Without help and support from the general public, every single hard work and effort in providing enough blood for patients will not be accomplished. We have to make blood donation a public responsibility, therefore we must unite and create awareness among the public in our country.
Who said only Superman with superpower can be a hero? You can be a hero too and save a million lives when you donate your blood. Adore the feeling of accomplishment when you know you are helping others to save lives. If you have never donated, now is the time!
You can check this list of Hospitals in Malaysia to make a blood donation appointment and make a big difference in the lives of others! Or you can directly contact Pusat Darah Negara Malaysia to get more information about Blood Donation Campaign and activities.