Dubai: Dubai Health Authority encourages people, especially those who have rare and negative blood groups, to register with the Dubai Blood Donation Centre.

Dr Mai Rauof, Director of the Dubai Health Authority-run Dubai Blood Donation Centre, said, it is important for the community to not only to donate blood but also register at the centre, especially for rare blood group donors.

“I would like to encourage people to put their names in our database so that we can contact them according to the demand and supply. Blood expires every 42 days and platelets — which are needed mainly for cancer patients and those experiencing bleeding due to an accident or surgical procedure — expires in just five days,” said Dr Raouf at a blood donation campaign held at the Al Yousuf group.

She said they prefer to have regular donors who register with them and who can be contacted depending on the need of the centre.

However, in line with international standards, a certain amount of all blood and platelets are stored at the centre at all times.

She emphasised the importance of donating platelets, in addition to regular blood donation.

“People can donate blood every eight weeks, and platelets up to 24 times a year. With each blood donation, you can potentially save up to three lives. Regular blood donations takes 15 minutes, while platelet collection takes 45 minutes to one hour,” she said.

Dr Rauof also encouraged the community to continue donating during Ramadan, adding that the centre will be open after Iftar too.

“Each year, we find people readily donate blood during the holy month and we are thankful to the community for their dedication.”