July 17, 2022

More than 3,000 people turn up to give blood after Red Cross appeal for A+, O+ donors

By brit

SINGAPORE – An appeal to donate blood as supplies run low has drawn an overwhelming response, with more than 3,300 people coming forward over the past week.

This represents a 43 per cent increase from a typical week’s collection, said the Singapore Red Cross (SRC), which is the Republic’s national blood donor recruiter.

“We hope that this momentum will continue next week to bring our blood stocks up to healthy levels,” said the humanitarian organisation.

Located at the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) building in Outram Road, the Bloodbank@HSA – one of four blood banks across the island – was packed when The Straits Times visited on Friday (July 15).

Among the donors there was Mr Goh Chee Wee, who said it was his first time donating since 1996.

Work and other commitments, which often require him to travel, left little time for him to donate blood in the years since then, said the 43-year-old army regular.

He was there with about 40 others from his unit, which had made an informal request for servicemen to volunteer to donate blood that day.

Mr Goh, whose blood type is A+, said he was inspired by recent social media posts put out by Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, who shared SRC’s call for blood donors to come forward.

He added that as a sergeant major, he felt it was important to lead by example.

Full-time national serviceman Eldridge Surianto was a first-time blood donor.

The 19-year-old, who has O+ blood, said his decision to donate blood was a personal one – he has relatives who required blood transfusions because of cancer treatments.

“I was quite nervous at first,” he said, noting that he had heard that giving blood could cause dizziness.

“But after this experience, I don’t think it’s that scary,” said Mr Surianto, adding that he would consider doing it again in future.

On July 8, SRC had called for more blood donors, said a spokesman, as┬áthere was less than nine days’ worth of A+ and O+ blood then.