On the morning of the actual blood donation drive, I picked my sister up and we went to Surya Yoga. The main studio was set up with the blood test counters as well as the makeshift beds, while the other studio was set up with chairs for the planned talks.
I had managed to dig out my booklet which my blood donations were recorded. Yes, it’s rather old! The last time I donated blood was more than 10 years ago, just after I graduated from university!
When donating blood, you would typically have to go through four counters:
Counter 1: Filling up form and Weight check
Of course, the first thing you have to do is fill up a form! In this case, we filled up a form with our names and our details, and we had to answer a long checklist which asked various questions as filters (whether we have been to certain countries in certain years; if we have contracted certain diseases before; etc) that they may have to take into consideration to reject our blood.
This is also where they will check your weight to ensure that you’re not underweight. If you’re underweight, you won’t be allowed to donate because if you don’t even have enough blood for yourself, how can you donate blood to others??
Counter 2: Blood test
This is where they will extract a tiny sample of blood from your finger for a few simple blood tests. The first is a simple blood group test to see which group you fall into: O, A, B or AB. They will also check your Rhesus blood group (positive or negative), and then they will check the hemoglobin level of your blood. If the level is too low, you will also be rejected. My drop of blood sunk like a stone in the copper sulfate solution, so I was a shoo-in! Haha!
Counter 3: Blood pressure
This is where they check your blood presure to make sure your blood pressure is within the healthy range.
Counter 4: Registration
No more tests! Here’s where they give you a blood bag and some documentation for the blood donation attendants to stick onto your bag.
After that, just head over to the next available seat and the attendants will do the necessary.
Food and drink are usually provided for free for blood donors. The National Blood Bank gave us a can of 100 plus and a pack of buns each, but Surya Yoga added on by giving us beehoon and tea. One of the Surya Yoga members even sponsored some delicious buns fresh from the oven!
Kudos to Surya Yoga and the National Blood Bank for a successful blood donation drive, and to all the donors for the noble act of donating their blood!