Blood donation in Qatar continues to be a challenge
The large floating population and lack of public awareness on blood donation in Qatar has resulted in the Blood Donor Unit at the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) struggling to maintain its reserve. A representative from the Blood Donor Unit who wished to remain anonymous mentioned that they do receive some patients who visit the facility every two months for donations. However, stored blood expires every 42 days and this coupled with the increasing number of hospitals and accidents each day makes it harder for the unit to supply blood to everyone equally.
HMC faces frequent shortage of O+ve, which is a universally accepted blood type.
If you would like to register as a regular blood donor, here is what you need to know.
In order to donate blood, you need to meet the following health and physical requirements:
– Be between 18 and 60 years of age
– Be in good health overall and feel well on the day of donation
– Have no chronic heart, lung or circulatory diseases
– Weigh 50 kilograms or above
– You should not suffer from high blood pressure, use insulin or be anaemic.
– Inform the unit if you are taking medications or bring a list of all the medications on the day of donation
– Pregnant, menstruating or breastfeeding women should not donate any blood
Once you meet the above requirements, and pass a brief personal medical interview with a healthcare professional, you are eligible to donate blood. The entire donation process itself takes only 40 minutes and the most crucial part of which is the interview.
Before heading to the donor centre, make sure you:
– Bring your identification card or health card with you
– Get enough sleep the previous night
– Abstain from smoking for at least two hours prior to the donation session.
Travel is another deal breaker, if you have travelled to certain countries in the previous six months or one year, you may not be allowed to make a donation. However, the HMC does not disclose the names of these countries prior to the personal medical interview stage to prevent potential donors from falsifying information.
A regular blood donor says these are mainly tropical countries and countries where malaria or tuberculosis are prevalent.
The Blood Donor Unit is situated at the Hamad Medical Corporation near Sports Roundabout, and can be contacted on 44391081 or 44391082.