Dubai Health Authority Blood Donation
More than 41,000 people donated blood in Dubai during the first eight months of 2020 Image Credit: iStock

Dubai: The Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) Dubai Blood Donation Centre received 41,635 blood donors from the beginning of the year until August 18, 2020

Approximately 3,195 platelets apheresis units and 104 double red cells donation were also collected according to top DHA officials.

Convalescent Plasma collected

A total of 42,493 blood units were issued during the same time period out of which, 26,959 blood units were distributed to DHA hospitals and 15,534 were issued to private hospitals in Dubai. Meanwhile 3,973 platelets units and 8,529 plasmas units were issued to both public and private hospitals.

The centre also played an important role in collecting Convalescent Plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients where 195 plasma donors have donated successfully during the pandemic.

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New Blood Donation Tent

In order to maintain the protocols of social distancing, a blood donation tent has been set up to collect blood from donors. Dr Farida Al Khaja, CEO of DHA’s Clinical Support Services and Nursing Sector said: “The tent can smoothly process 70-250 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.

Guidelines during COVID-19

Al Khaja added that new conditions for donating blood were put in place during the pandemic.

“The Centre constantly strives to ensure that a sufficient supply of blood is available for patients in need by putting in place the best practices to enhance the safety of blood transfusion. 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 to ensure the safety of donors and recipients of blood,” said Dr Al Khaja.

Dubai Blood Donation Centre Services

Dr Hussain Al Samt, Director of the Department of Pathology and Genetics said that the Dubai blood donation centre, which is the only blood donation centre in Dubai, provides around 50 per cent of the total blood collected throughout the country.

He added that the centre 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. The centre is the first AABB accredited blood donation centre in United Arab Emirates and DHA is keen to ensure quality of services and safety of blood transfusion.

Extended hours

Dr Mai Raouf, Director of the Dubai Blood Donation Centre, added that the centre has extended its working hours to meet customers’ needs so that they are from 7am to 8:30pm, Sunday to Thursday. To also meet customers’ needs Dr Raouf said Centre has added new additional parking lots for blood donors; around 20 parking lots to ensure customers happiness and satisfaction.

“We highly appreciate the generous contributions of voluntary blood donors who continue to donate blood always and even during the pandemic,” concluded Dr Raouf.