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Who can donate blood in the UAE?

Here is a list of ideal donors and those who may be deferred temporarily or permanently from donating blood

  • Gulf News Report
  • Published: 00:00 January 24, 2012
  • Gulf News

Helping others
  • Image Credit: PANKAJ SHARMA/Gulf News
  • A donor at the Dubai Blood Donation Centre at Al Wasl Hospital. Donors are given certificates and trophies. "A human body has about five to six litres of blood and donating a pint won’t affect you at all," Dr Al Shair said.

Whether you are donating blood for thalassaemia patients or as a voluntary gesture to help replenish blood banks throughout the country, you need to check if you are eligible to donate. Here is a list of ideal donors and those who may be deferred temporarily or permanently from donating blood. 

Those who can donate blood in the UAE should:

  • Be residents of the UAE
  • Be between the ages of 17 and 60
  • Have a minimum weight of 45kg
  • Not have donated blood in the last 90 days
  • Not be suffering from any infectious diseases, influenza or taking antibiotics 

Those who can never donate their blood are:

  • Hepatitis B and C patients
  • HIV positive patients
  • Diabetics who are insulin or pill dependent. However, those who can control sugar levels through diet and exercise can donate
  • Alcoholics and drug addicts
  • Those who are temporarily prevented from donating blood:
  •  Have had dental work done in the last five weeks
  • Are taking antibiotics
  • Have smoked or consumed alcohol in the last 72 hours
  • Have had tattoos or ear piercing done in the present year
  • Pregnant women
  • Anaemic patients who can replenish their haemoglobin and come back for donation

 

Key points
  • Thalassaemia is an inherited disorder of haemoglobin synthesis.
  • People with thalassaemia can get an overload of iron in their bodies, either from the disease itself or from frequent blood transfusions. Too much iron can result in damage to the heart, liver and endocrine system
  • People with thalassaemia have an increased risk of infection, especially true if the spleen has been removed.
  • Thalassaemia can make the bone marrow expand, which causes bones to widen, leading to abnormal bones mostly in the face and skull. Bone marrow expansion also makes bones brittle, increasing the risk of broken bones.
  • The spleen aids in fighting infection and filters unwanted material, such as old or damaged blood cells. Thalassaemia is often accompanied by the destruction of a large number of red blood cells, and the task of removing these cells causes the spleen to enlarge. Severe enlargement of the spleen may necessitate its removal.
  • Anaemia can cause a child's growth to slow. Puberty also may be delayed in children with thalassaemia.
  • Congestive heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms may be associated with severe thalassaemia.
  • Children born with thalassaemia usually develop symptoms of severe anaemia within the first year of life. Symptoms may appear as they grow and include paleness of the skin, poor appetite, irritability, fatigue, bone deformity, a failure to thrive and delayed puberty.
  • Thalassaemia patients are kept on regular blood transfusions every three to fours weeks. This leads to accumulation of iron in the body which is managed by using chelation therapy. The only cure for thalassaemia is bone marrow translation from a fully matched compatible donor.

— Source: Dubai Health Authority

Gulf News
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