The Dubai Health Authority has released a new smart blood donation app, Dami, that will eliminate human errors and save processing time by nearly 30 minutes for donation centres. It will also help residents donate blood at the click of a button. The bilingual app, in Arabic and English, which will be available on iOS and Android platforms with free downloads, was announced in January this year and integrates a new blood management system using world leading technology Haemasoft.
Elaborating on the app, Dr May Raouf, director of the Dubai Blood Donation Centre (DBDC), said: “This application will make it easier for donors to register online and donate immediately in case of emergencies. The app saves time as it allows for the filling up of detailed forms making it hassle free for donors to just come and donate at the centre. The app will maintain detailed medical records of donors, including their blood types and record of donations so that the centre will be able to reach out to them in times of emergencies. Donors will be able to receive invitations for activities related to blood donation through their smart device and get notification for donation campaigns. This will support the hospitals with a wide database of blood donors to be able to cover their needs.”
The centre based in the Latifa Hospital campus, Dubai, has been very proactive in blood collection drives and providing blood units to both government and private hospitals throughout Dubai.
Dr Raouf reiterated that contrary to popular belief there was no shortfall of any blood units. “As a centre we collected nearly 46,332 units of blood in 2016 which is the highest collection record in the country. On a daily basis we collect 140-180 units of blood. There may be some fluctuation especially when large units of blood are required in any particular case, but we have no shortfall.”
Dr Raouf said that very often people spread unfounded rumours. “When a patient requires blood transfusion, we advise the relatives to donate on a reciprocal basis keeping in mind other patients. We also have a system where we prioritise for emergency cases that require immediate blood units. Sometimes we ask people to donate in case of a negative RH factor. People then perceive it’s because of a shortage but this untrue. One must always remember that blood is something that can be collected only from live human donors and we have our challenges. But we always strive to not only collect enough, but also make sure we stock it well.
Of the units collected last year, nearly 36 per cent was utilised for Thalassaemia patients, 17 per cent for trauma cases at Rashid Hospital, 10 per cent by Dubai Hospital and 19.1 was utilised by Latifa Hospital. About 15.5 per cent of the blood collected went to private hospitals, while the remainder was used for miscellaneous requirements.
Recently, doctors of Latifa Hospital were required to transfuse 100 units of blood (which is an extremely rare precedent) in a patient who was undergoing her fifth Caesarian section which was life-threatening and the centre was able to provide those units following an emergency protocol for which they were hugely appreciated.
The DBDC has two mobile blood donation vans and corporates volunteering to arrange for blood donation from their staff can call the centre on 04-2193221 from 7.30am to 7.30pm.
Why donate blood
A single unit of blood is about 480ml, roughly a pint in measure, and every healthy individual in the age group of 18-60 years, weighing above 45kg, can donate one unit every three months. Every unit of blood can actually save three to four lives as it contains plasma, red blood cells and cry precipitates that can be used in three different people. Donating blood transcends barriers of race, culture and status. There is a need for blood every two seconds of the day in hospitals. People lose blood in road traumas, require blood transfusions during surgeries, due to congenital blood disorders and every unit is a lifesaver.