Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bronze award for my blood!

It's World Blood Donor Day. Singapore Red Cross and HSA held a Champion Blood Donor Recognition Ceremony at the Singapore Zoo. This event is celebrated all over the world, in recognition of the voluntary and selfless contribution of the many people who donate blood regularly. I was invited to receive this bronze award for my contribution.

I can still remember my first donation, a response to a call for blood shortage. I walked into the blood bank at Outram Park on my own! But honestly, I was having cold hands and feet and this thought, "maybe next time...", flashed across my mind many times. Good thing, I didn't chicken out.

The procedure, until today, remains unchanged: First is registration, next is something I dislike most, until now, i.e. answer a 3-pages of health assessment questionnaire. Then a doctor will go through the questionnaire, confirm your answers with you and make sure you sign the form. After which he/she will take your weight, blood pressure, pulse and body temperature. Next, a nurse will draw some blood, by just a prick on a finger, to examine your blood haemoglobin level so as to ensure that you can make a donation. When this is over, you enter the blood donation room. A nurse will lead you to a bed. She will be cleaned your arm, after which a local painkiller will be applied to ensure that you feel no pain during the donation. Just 10 minutes and everything is over! After the donation, you will have continue to rest there for another 10 minutes. Last but not least, it's refreshment time! In all, the whole procedure takes about 45 minutes.

Actually, after realizing that it 'wasn't that frightening', the fear in me was replaced by a positive feeling, the worries were replaced by a feel of "warm glow" at the thought that my blood saves lives. From then, I tried to make 3 donations yearly but not for the 4-5 years where I was away on oversea attachment. Time flies, only to realise that I have already made 27 donations! But this is nothing compared to those gold receivers who have made more than 100 donations. Kudos to them.

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