The Department of Legal Affairs, Strategy and Corporate Governance Sector, Road & Transport Authority (RTA) held an awareness health lecture on blood donation in collaboration with the Dubai Health Authority as part of its ongoing community-oriented initiatives aimed at strengthening cooperation & exchanging expertise with various government bodies and transferring knowledge to employees.
Commenting on the lecture, Abdul Rahman Al Sha’er, Director of Legal Affairs, RTA Strategy and Corporate Governance Sector, said that this lecture was a part of a series of lectures the Department was planning to conduct later under the umbrella of community-based initiatives. “The importance of this vital issue cannot be overstressed as blood donation involves multiple benefits to the donor and provides a crucial assistance to those who desperately need it, particularly individuals sustaining serious accidents, experiencing malignant & incurable diseases, or those who lost large amounts of blood due to surgery, among others.
Besides that, we are seeking to instill the culture of donation & giving in individuals since blood donations is a noble humanitarian practice,” he added.
Lecturer Reem Al Suwaidi, a clinical researcher at the Dubai Donation Blood Center at Al Wasl Hospital, tackled the main themes of blood donation. She started her lecture with the definition of blood, and the correct concept of blood donation defining it as a process in which an amount of blood is drawn from a suitable donor in order to be transfused to another person in need.
She narrated the general benefits of blood donation accruing to donors such as the stimulation of the blood circulation, and reducing the risk of developing heart diseases & clogged arteries as the process of donation would reduce the amount of iron in the blood, which was scientifically proved as a catalyst to increasing vulnerability to these diseases.
“Additional benefits accruing to the donor include free health screening carried out by the blood bank physician ensuring that the donor is free from infectious blood-transmitted diseases such as HIV, hepatitis type B & C, malaria, and syphilis after undergoing the required laboratory tests. Moreover, the donor experiences a kind of psychological relief after the completion of blood donation generated by the feeling of reward and recompense in the waiting,” she continued.
Reem reviewed the conditions to be fulfilled by the potential donor, which include, the donor’s minimum age should be at least be 17, and his/her weight should not be less than 50 kg. “Hemoglobin percentage should not be less than 13.5 and 12.5 in men and women respectively. In some cases blood donation is denied from donors suffering from illnesses such as anemia, and thalassemia, allergy-related diseases such as asthma or allergy to medications, cancer & heart diseases, epilepsy and insulin-controlled diabetes. Blood donation is also not allowed from a person who had taken antibiotics unless after the lapse of 5 days from taking such medicines, and also during pregnancy and lactation periods,” elaborated Al Suwaidi.
Al Suwaidi stressed that a person could donate blood once every 3 months, i.e. not exceeding four times a year. She highlighted the key actions to be taken before donating blood which included: taking a balanced meal two hours before blood donation, getting enough sleep the night before, and drinking a little bit more fluids than usual.
She also offered a number of tips after the completion of blood donation process, such as taking a rest for at least 10 minutes, abstaining from smoking for at least two hours, avoiding violent sport, putting a medical adhesive plaster in place for 4 hours and avoiding carrying heavy objects by the hand where blood was drawn for 12 hours.
It is worth mentioning that a blood donation session was run after the educative lecture, which was well-attended by the targeted RTA’s male and female employees. Donors gave blood to the Dubai Health Authority after taking note of global statistics which reveal that a person needs blood transfusion every second, one of ten patients heading to hospitals needs blood transfusion, and the blood of a donor can save the lives of four.