Otterman's Blood Donations

Donations so far
116
06 May 2015

DonorWeb 3.8 - HSA

Blood donor news

From my blog, Otterman's Speaks...

Blog posts, 2008- (Wordpress) (All the posts in category: blood)

  • "Blood donations! Amanda’s third and my 111st!" 17 Apr 2013 [111]
  • "Visited a malaria endemic area recently and intend to donate blood? HSA clarifies…" 14 Dec 2012 [110]
  • "In September, a new blood donor centre at Dhoby Ghaut MRT!" 18 Jul 2012
  • "SAJC’s Blood Donation Drive today: Overcoming a fear of needles!" 18 Jul 2012
  • "Blood Bank has updated their “Overseas Travel Criteria for Blood Donation”" 18 May 2012
  • "Singapore Blood Group ‘O’ stock at critical levels, will 1,000 donors come forward this weekend?" 23 Mar 2012 [108]
  • "A chance to donate blood – NUS Blood Donation Drive 2012 – Tue/Wed: 31 Jan & 01 Feb and 07 & 08 Feb 2012" 30 Jan 2012
  • "Singapore’s ‘O’ type blood stock at critically low levels" 07 Jan 2012
  • "Blood Bank: ‘O’ blood group stock is very low" 28 Nov 2011
  • "The Ramadhan effect – more blood donors needed!" 18 Aug 2011
  • "105th Blood Donation at St. Andrew’s Junior College Hall." 27 Jul 2011 [105]
  • "Off to the Blood bank." 16 Apr 2011 [104]
  • "'Should private hospitals run own blood banks?' – HSA responds." 19 Oct 2010.
  • "Blood type ‘O’ stocks still critical." 21 Sep 2010.
  • Appeal for Type ‘O’ blood donors (16 Sep 2010). 16 Sep 2010
  • "Singapore’s national blood stocks still low despite the appeal in June." 08 Jul 2010
  • "Blood donation No. 99 and counting." 02 Oct 2009
  • "Happy holidays with shingles" - explains my break from blood donation for six months. 02 Oct 2009
  • "96th Blood Donation." 24 Jun 2008
  • "95th Blood Donation." 16 Mar 2008

Blog posts, 2007-2003 (Samizdat)

Blog posts by other Singaporeans

  • On Desanguination." By Brandon Seah. Occasionally Updated, 23 Dec 2005.
  • "I donated blood!" By Marina. Marina's Bloggariffic, 09 Dec 2004.

International webpages/blogs

In the news, 2004

  • "Serious shortage of safe blood for transfusions." Straits Times, 19 Apr 2004
  • "A mum's plea for blood donations," by Rachel Cheng - The New Paper, 11 Apr 2004 [pdf]. "Her daughter needs blood transfusions regularly, just to stay alive. She was hospitalised when she was ten as there had not been enough blood in the blood bank during a festive season."
  • "Blood donations up 3 times on Lunar New Year 's eve compared to last year." By Joanne Leow, Channel News Asia, 22 Jan 2004. [pdf] Appeals prior to Chinese New year help pre-empt the usual stock depletion.
  • "Sars over, she's ready to give blood again." By Lee Sze Yong. 9th Aug 2003 [pdf]. "She cannot wait to give blood. Before the Sars outbreak, nurse Coreen Low Kim Kuan, 42, used to visit Bloodbank@HSA every three months."
  • Launch of Apheresis Suite @ HSA, 15 Apr 2002.
  • Zoe Tay, National Blood Recruitment Ambasssador, 16 Apr 2001

 

LINKS

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My Donations

No

Date

116
115
114
113
112
111
110
109
108
107
106
105
104
103
102
101
100
99
98
97
96
95
94
93
92
91
90
89
88
87
86
85
84
83
82
81
80
79
78
77
76
75
74
73
72
71
70
69
68
67
66
65
64
63
62
61
...
41
40
39
38
37
36
35
34
33
32
..
-
...
14
13
12
11
10
09
08
07
06
05
04
03
02
01

06 May 2015
03 Jan 2015
10 Jun 2014
26 Jul 2013
28 Jun 2013
16 Apr 2013
21 Dec 2012
28 Sep 2012
04 Apr 2012
11 Jan 2012
19 Oct 2011
27 Jul 2011
16 Apr 2011
06 Nov 2010
30 Jun 2010
16 Mar 2010
22 Dec 2009
30 Sep 2009
03 Jul 2009
19 Sep 2008
24 Jun 2008
14 Mar 2008
15 Nov 2007
21 Jun 2007
20 Mar 2007
10 Oct 2006
22 Jun 2006
30 Mar 2006
03 Jan 2006
03 Sep 2005
11 Jun 2005
31 Mar 2005
03 Dec 2004
03 Nov 2004
14 Jul 2004
16 Jun 2004
28 Apr 2004
10 Mar 2004
28 Jan 2004
17 Dec 2003
5 Nov 2003
24 Sep 2003
13 Aug 2003
1 Jul 2003
20 May 2003
31 Mar 2003
24 Jan 2003
13 Dec 2002
3 Oct 2002
22 Aug 2002
8 Jul 2002
4 Dec 2001
23 Oct 2001
10 Sep 2001
11 Jul 2001
29 May 2001
...
20 May 1997
27 Dec 1996
21 Sep 1996
18 Jun 1996
03 Jan 1996
06 Oct 1995
11 Jul 1995
13 Apr 1995
05 Jan 1995
01 Sep 1994
...
01 Aug 1993
...
12 Feb 1989
21 Nov 1988
10 Jun 1988
xx Mar 1988
04 Dec 1987
04 Sep 1987
10 Jun 1987
11 Mar 1987
13 Dec 1986
12 Sep 1986
17 Jun 1986
18 Mar 1986
18 Nov 1985
xx Aug 1985

My blood donation experience

Inspiring names on the wall

I was fascinated as a kid when I saw my father donate blood. What a neat way to help people! And they really need it! On the walls, I read with admiration the names of those who donated 50 or 100 times. Champion donors! They were an inspiration. "I want to be like them", I thought to myself.

Determined to begin once I was old enough, I finally turned 18 but was in the army. Too exhausted on weekends initially, it was more than 6 months before I went for my first session, sometime in August 1985.

Just an hour every 3 months

I used to spend slightly less than an hour per session, screening, questions, preparation, blood flow, held back for 10 minutes as they were sure you were okay, and milo and biscuits (now its a soya sandwich and drink) before you go. I used to measure the time it took for 430ml of my blood to reach the bag by the side of the bed and my best times were about 3 minutes, if I recall correctly.

Scared of infection? The whole setup is really neat - entirely disposable, one-time use only, so you can rest easy.

 Big veins, so platelereisis

A core group of nurses at the National Blood Centre recognise individual regular donors by name or by what they do ("you the one always in the forest right?"). In the 90's, they asked me to donate platelets, as I was one of the regulars and had 'good veins'.

However my platelet counts were too low and they stopped the second donation halfway through the session. I was a little upset. Platelets have a shelf life of only five days and thus are relatively rare. Platelets are used by leukemia patients and I had just been looking at the obituary page of a 12-year old. But the nurse said the donations would strip away what I needed for myself, hence they stopped the donation. My counts, rather unfortunately, were just naturally low.

Too much travel so plasmareisis

With low platelet counts and my frequent travels to forests in Asia, they asked me to switch to plasma donations. This meant spending alonger time at the Blood Centre, but it was very relaxing. First few sessions, I had to remember to go to the toilet before the donation started, lese you can be stuck for an hour with no way to visit a toilet! My entire donation session, from registration to tea, now takes just 1 hour.

*On 24th January 2003 I completed my 70th session.* Still a long way off from my heroes on the wall. Hope I stay healthy all the way!

Easier for some - how about you?

Some of us can do this more easily than others. When I crashed my bike recently at Ubin, and my elbow was bleeding. A friend looked at my thick red blood already clotting, in admiration - she is anaemic, and says her blood looks like 'bandung' - pink and watery!

She was anaemic since childhood, but through sheer determination and adjustment of diet, and after a few rejections, eventually made make her tenth blood donation in late 2002! What an achievement! I am impressed everytime I recall this.

I used to go for rugby training after donation sessions in the late 80's (don't tell the nurses or there'll be hell to pay). I was cautious, expecting to faint at any moment. Hardly the case! For me at least, 430ml of whole blood was not much of a sacrifice! "Milk us for more!" we once jubilantly asked the nurses. They shook their heads and smiled - they have safety margins they can never compromise.

But despite all that, I was unable to donate platelets regularly - and my anaemic friend has managed to make 10 whole blood donations! She increases her natural iron intake until her blood count gets high enough, then tries. She gets rejected roughly at a rate off 3:1!

Other friends have tried too but not all are successful: some were too light (less than 45kg), others turned out to be carriers off Hepatitis, some were on medication, some of the ladies went at the wrong time of the month when blood counts were too low. And some others have collapsing veins or were travelling in risk-areas. But all of them not for want of trying!

Go down and try it out. Most are able. There's no way to tell.

Remember, only 1-2% off Singaporeans are donors. About 30% of these are women.

Every time you make a donation, it's well appreciated and you'd have helped to save a life. Isn't that nice?

Cheerio!

Otterman, 16 Oct 2002.

2004 programmes


MediaCorp Radio to recruit 10,000 donors, launched
3 Apr 2004 -
Pledge to be a blood donor here.


The Red Challenge Award 2004
Special blood donation
campaign for youth.

From http://www.donorweb.org