Abu Dhabi: Residents who have received COVID-19 vaccine can donate blood just two weeks after getting either dose. The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) has therefore urged residents to continue donating blood because it can saves lives. Seha has assured that there is no risk of COVID-19 transmission during the donation process.
“Vaccinated people may donate blood 14 days after the first or second dose. Each donor contributes to saving the lives of at least three people,” Seha has said in a statement.
“It is vital for all members of our community to regularly donate blood. Blood is our lifeline and our blood banks need a consistent supply of blood to protect the interests of the entire community, especially our brothers and sisters who require life-saving transfusions. There are currently no substitutes for blood therapy and it is crucial that all members of the society consider the possibility when a friend or family member may need a blood transfusion,” said Dr Marwan Al Kaabi, acting group chief operations officer at Seha.
Some patients, including those diagnosed with thalassaemia or sickle cell anaemia, require blood therapy every three weeks. Blood transfusions are also essential in saving the lives of those involved in accidents or incidents that cause major blood loss.
“We have ensured that the blood donation process is safe and efficient, in line with global best practise for donors. During COVID-19, we introduced additional, robust, safety and precautionary measures at the blood banks. The process is not only completely safe for donors, but there is also no risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus during donation. We urge all members of the community to donate blood, including those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone must commit to donate as this is a public health matter,” Dr Al Kaabi said.
Abu Dhabi Blood Bank Services aim to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of blood inventory at the blood banks to support the needs of 50 public and private hospitals in the emirate.
Saif Al Harthy has donated blood 50 times so far. He strongly believes that donating blood is a humanitarian act. Ali Hassan Muhammad Abdul Latif Al-Jamadi has been donating at the Zayed Military Hospital, a Seha facility, since 1990. He has continued to donate as many as three times a year, and has so far donated 45 times in total. He believes donating blood is a duty towards the UAE and its community, it is a humanitarian act that seeks God’s pleasure.
Muhammad Munther Nasr is a Palestinian resident of the UAE, who has so far donated blood 55 times. Nasr’s blood type is O+, a blood type that is in very high demand, and he explained his decision to donate every quarter.
“Donating blood is a humanitarian cause and my personal way of expressing my gratitude to the country where I was born and have lived. My father donated blood very regularly, and he strongly influenced my choice to continue with this tradition. Besides the charitable element, blood donation is not harmful to our health, contrary to some misconceptions,” Nasr said.
Imad Abu Angela, a Jordanian national who has been a resident of the UAE for 14 years, has also committed to donating blood every two to three months, and has so far donated 35 times. “Donating blood is very rewarding and fills me with happiness as I know I am contributing to saving the lives of other people,” Abu Angela said.
Who is in need of blood donations?
A number of people end up needing blood donations, including accident and fire victims, anaemic patients, people with blood disorders like thalassaemia, patients undergoing surgery, and cancer patients.
Each unit of blood can be separated into several components — red blood cells, plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitate. So, a single donation can save multiple lives.
Are there any benefits for the donor?
Donating blood may reduce the risk of heart diseases and strokes. It may also stimulate the bone marrow to produce new blood cells and prevent iron accumulation. In addition, the human body compensates the donated volume of blood within 24 hours.
Who can donate blood?
Any healthy adult aged 18-65 who weighs at least 50kg can donate. This includes those who have received COVID-19 vaccines, as long as 14 days have passed after their vaccine shots.
Are there any groups of people who should not donate blood?
— People who have had recent surgery or are taking certain medications.
— Anyone with a chronic medical condition or infectious disease.
— Pregnant women and women who have given birth in the past few months.
You will be assessed for donation eligibility once you visit the blood bank.
Could I get sick because I have donated blood?
It is not possible to acquire any disease because new disposable sterilised equipment is used for each donation at Abu Dhabi blood banks.
How often can I donate blood?
Whole blood can be donated every two to three months and donation of plasma or platelets requires only a month’s wait.
What do you need to bring to donate blood in Abu Dhabi?
Just a valid Emirates ID.
How long does a blood donation session take and what does it involve?
The process takes around 45 minutes.
A blood withdrawal session removes about 450ml of blood, or eight per cent of total blood volume for an average adult. Donors are then served some refreshments to supply quick energy. The entire process at the Abu Dhabi or Al Ain Blood Bank takes about 45 minutes.
Do I have to take care after a donation session?
Donors are advised to drink plenty of fluids for the next 24 hours and to not lift heavy objects. They are also told not to smoke for at least six hours and to avoid being in high places as they may feel dizzy.