For every unit of blood we donate, we stand the chance to save three people’s lives according to data from the American Red Cross Blood Drive.
Yet, a recent report by The Economist found that the rate of blood donation in the UAE and Middle Eastern region is on average two to three times lower than that of European economies of similar wealth.
With World Blood Donor Day coming up on 14th June, we have the chance to reverse that statistic.
“We have about four to five litres of blood in our body, but when there is blood loss to an extent where [it] cannot carry on its usual processes, this means that the body is compromised,” explained Dr Nazura Siddiqi, specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology at Bareen International Hospital.
“In general conditions, blood is given when there have been road traffic accidents, during surgery or for patients with anaemia that may come as a result of cancers like leukaemia.”
To qualify to donate in the UAE, blood donors must be between 18 to 65 years of age and over 50kg in weight. Pregnant women and sufferers of hypertension and anaemia may not donate, and donors will also be tested to rule out any blood borne diseases such as Hepatitis.
While road traffic accidents and surgery might seem an obvious use for transfusions, for Dr Nazura, the donated blood has an even greater impact for mothers giving birth.
“From a gynaecology point of view, blood is life-saving,” she emphasised.
“There are two conditions – one is placenta previa and one is a post-partum haemorrhage. Both of these are very dangerous; women can bleed to death. In these cases, having blood on hand can save lives.”
To find out how to donate, visit: seha.ae