In keeping with its commitment to public healthcare, Canadian Specialist Hospital (CSH), one of the leading private sector hospitals in the UAE, along with Dubai Health Authority, conducted a blood donation drive with the tagline ‘Say Farewell to 2015 and Welcome 2016 with a Great Initiative’.
The initiative generated an overwhelming response within the members of the community, with 60 donors coming forward and approximately 21 litres (44 pints) of blood was collected in close to 3 hours. One pint of blood collected from the donor has the potential to save three lives, particularly as it is processed into different components to fulfill individual needs.
With the rising population of the UAE, as well increasing international patient traffic, the demand for blood transfusions is steadily mounting. Accident and trauma case victims, as well as patients suffering from thalassaemia, cancer and other illnesses require frequent blood transfusions. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has already recognized and honoured the UAE as among the top five countries offering the best blood transfusion services. With 1.98% of the residents donating blood, the UAE is also inching closer to the international benchmark of 2% of population.
CSH stated that, traditionally, the holiday season poses a challenging time for hospitals due to a decline in the number of blood donations as majority of the residents are traveling or preoccupied. There is also a marked shortage of volunteers during the holy month of Ramadan. On the other hand, there is a typical surge in demand among recipients which necessitates the immediate access to requisite blood groups.
“Blood has a shelf life of approximately 42 days and is therefore a perishable inventory. Despite ever expanding medical advancements, no equipment or method can synthesise human blood. There always is tremendous pressure on blood banks for timely availability. Since the only source is the volunteer blood donor, we urge eligible members of the community to come forward for this noble humanitarian cause. There is a pressing need to identify more O negative donors, as this group faces the strongest shortage due to low supply and high demand. The demand also exists for certain other groups like A negative, B negative as well as AB groups,” said Dr. Yashar Ali – Acting C.E.O. & Chief Medical Officer
There are certain guidelines that need to be met before being granted eligibility as a donor. One must be in good physical health, aged between 17-65 years and weigh at least 110 pounds or 50 kilograms. Those with high blood pressure can still donate as long as it is under control and within the set guidelines, at the time of donation.
As per guidelines, those who are on diabetic medication, have had Hepatitis B or C, have been on antibiotics within the last five days or have had dental work within the last three days of the donation are ineligible. Those who are anemic, pregnant or have had piercings and tattoos within the last one year also cannot donate blood.
Blood donation can be done only after every 56 days or 8 weeks, allowing sufficient time for the red blood cells to be replenished. One who has donated blood within the allowable period is strictly not eligible to donate blood again even if they have the critical blood types.
“Those who are unsure if they are eligible can be assessed at the time of donation. Prior to the donation, we conduct a detailed medical assessment: we do a basic interview, assess previous blood donation and travel histories, hemoglobin levels, medications and other blood-related risks so we can ensure safety and the best possible donation experience,” added Dr.Ali.
Recently, CSH was reaccredited by Joint Commission International (JCI), the world’s largest healthcare accreditor, in recognition of the hospital’s continuing commitment to evidence-based medicine, quality assurance, medical ethics and patient safety, and the reduction of medical errors. First accredited in 2011, CSH won the mandatory reaccreditation from JCI in 2014 after a rigorous assessment of the hospital’s level of compliance to quality standards.
Canadian Specialist Hospital provides a wide range of medical services and houses some of the most advanced surgical facilities in Dubai. Continuous development and investment in technology, medical expertise and support facilities have contributed to the hospital’s current stature as one of the preeminent medical institutions in the Middle East.