Ho Ching: Who can donate blood? Yes, folks with tattoos can…

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Can folks with tattoos donate blood?

Yup! Tattoo’d folks can donate blood 12 months after they got their tattoos.

What if we have had covid or been vaccinated?

Yup! Folks can donate blood one month after recovering from covid.

And yup! Folks can generally donate blood one month after their vaccinations. For those on mRNA vaccines, blood donation can start as early as one week after vaccination, or one week after their vaccination side effects, like fever or local injection site pain, have been resolved. But in general, we should wait about a month after any vaccination before donating blood.

What about those who have had dengue?

Yup! Recovered dengue patients should wait at least 6 months after full recovery from dengue.

And apart from asking potential donors a series of questions, esp on their health, medication and travel, potential donors will do a blood test to check for iron level, etc.

This is bcos a good level of iron in the blood is needed for carrying oxygen efficiently and effectively to various parts of the body.

For good blood iron, add iron rich foods into our diet for 1-4 weeks before donation. It is a good idea to add iron rich foods regularly even if we are not donating blood.

Iron rich foods include dark leafy green vegetables like spinach, kailan and such. Others include lentils, tofu and soybean products, dark chocolate, sesame seeds, liver, chickpeas, cashew and almond nuts, and quinoa.

Others include fruits like apple and pear which turn brown on exposure to air bcos of their iron content, and apricot. Seafoods like oysters, clams and some shellfish are also rich in iron.

Yet others are enriched b’fast cereals or other iron enriched foods, though it is better in general to go for fresh foods than processed foods which tend to have high sugar and salt content, or preservatives.

So there are plenty of options for iron rich foods.

Who are not recommended for blood donations?

HIV patients and patients taking multiple drugs for hypertension or diabetes.

Folks with stable diabetes or hypertension, or who can manage their conditions with just one type of medication can donate blood.

Others with blood disorders are not eligible for blood donations.

Folks who have had blood related infections like malaria or west nile fevers would have to wait for quite some time.

Recovered malaria or west nile fever patients must wait at least 3 years before donating blood. People travelling to high risk countries for malaria and other blood infections must wait at least 4 months before donating blood.

Blood donations can be done at:

  • HSA at Outram
  • Dhiby Ghaut
  • Westgate Tower
  • Woodlands Civic Centre

For more information on blood donations, contact HSA (Health Science Authority), or the Singapore Red Cross.

PS:

While we are short on A+ and O+ blood bank stock, we also are short of the rhesus negative blood types like B-, A-, and the rare AB- blood type stock.

We are moderately good on B+ and O- blood types, but feel free to donate for these too.

The hospitals will also need to test, process and store all blood types, so that they are safe and ready for use.

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