Group O blood donors urgently needed ahead of CNY, blood stocks at critical levels: HSA

Those with Group O blood are urged to come forward and donate in the two weeks leading up to Chinese New Year.

Ruth Chai | January 26, 2024, 06:37 PM



Those with Group O blood are urged to come forward and donate in the two weeks leading up to Chinese New Year.

The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) and Health Sciences Authority (HSA) announced on Friday (Jan. 26) that the Group O blood stocks are now at critical levels.

"Group O blood stocks have dipped below six days and are currently at critical levels due to high usage of these blood types and lower than normal blood donor turnout since the beginning of 2024," said SRC and HSA.

Typically, the stockpile of Group O blood should last nine days at least.

Why Group O blood?

Those with Group O blood are considered universal blood donors.

Group O blood is needed during emergencies when patients' blood groups are unknown.

According to SRC and HSA, nearly half of all patients in Singapore have Group O blood and can only receive Group O blood.

"If group O blood stocks continue to drop, elective surgeries will have to be postponed and life-saving transfusions could also be compromised."

During festive seasons, blood collection is expected to dip, and can potentially dip by as much as 20 per cent.

"It is crucial that we prevent further depletion of the Group O blood stocks and restore them to healthy levels now to ensure we can meet the transfusion needs of patients," SRC and HSA said.

Am I eligible to donate?

Healthy individuals who are between 16 and 60 and weigh at least 45kg are encouraged to donate blood.

In addition, donors should donate blood before their travels as travelling to certain countries or regions in some countries with insect-borne infection risks may make them ineligible to donate for a period of time.

According to HSA's general eligibility criteria, you must:

  • Be in good health
  • Not have had any symptoms of infection, such as sore throat, cough, runny nose or diarrhoea for at least one week
  • Not have had a fever in the last four weeks
  • Not have taken antibiotics for the last seven days. If you have taken antibiotics, wait at least one week from the last dose
  • Weigh at least 45kg
  • Have a haemoglobin level of at least 13.0 grams per decilitre for males and 12.5 grams per decilitre for females

For more information on whether you are eligible, you can visit HSA's website here.

Going to donate blood?

Donors are encouraged to have adequate rest the night before donation.

On the day itself, donors can eat a light meal and drink plenty of fluids.

Official photo identification such as an NRIC, work pass or passport will be needed for registration.

If you are 16 or 17-years-old, a signed parental consent form is required, which can be found here.

Top photo via Nguyễn Hiệp/Unsplash