Each blood donation takes about 45 minutes, and up to 90 minutes for apheresis donations. From start to finish, this is how the donation process works:
Registration: Your personal particulars will be recorded and you will be asked to fill in a health assessment questionnaire. You'll need to provide your photo ID (e.g. passport, work pass, NRIC) for registration, a contactable address and a telephone number in Singapore for the next 6 months.
Medical screening: A doctor or nurse will ask about your medical and social history to confirm you are eligible to make a donation, after which your weight, blood pressure, pulse and body temperature will be taken.
Blood test: Your blood haemoglobin level will be checked to ensure that you can make a donation.
Blood donation: Your arm will be cleaned, after which a local painkiller will be applied to ensure you feel minimal discomfort during the donation.
Refreshments: After the donation, you will be required to rest briefly and have some light refreshments before resuming normal activities.
How long does the blood donation process take?
Each blood donation usually takes 45-60 minutes and up to 90 minutes for an apheresis donation.
How should I prepare for the blood donation? Should I fast or eat specific foods?
Please eat a light meal and have a good night's rest before donation. No fasting is needed before blood donation. Should you feel unwell on the day of donation, take a rest and consider postponing the donation until you feel better.
Where can I donate blood?
You can donate at our Bloodbank@HSA, @Dhoby Ghaut, @Westgate Tower or @Woodlands. However, apheresis donation is only available at Bloodbank@HSA.
You can also choose to donate at any of our community blood-drives, which are held regularly in different locations across Singapore. To reduce waiting time, you may wish to make an appointment for your donation by calling us on 6220 0183 or making an online booking using your Singpass.
What happens after I donate blood?
Most people will feel okay after the donation. Some donors might experience slight giddiness. For all blood donors, the nurse will ask them to rest on the donation bench for 10 mins after their donation.
If you feel slightly giddy after the donation, continue to rest on the donation bench after the 10 mins or at the refreshment area. Only leave when you feel ok. It is not necessary to eat more after the blood donation to compensate. Blood volume can be replaced just by drinking water.
You should avoid strenuous exercise after donating. Your athletic performance might be slightly lower for the next 3 days.
Your blood is sent for screening and separated into three components - red blood cells, platelets, and fresh frozen plasma - before being placed in carefully monitored and controlled conditions to make sure it's in an optimal state when transfused. Red blood cells can be stored for up to 6 weeks, but most of the blood is usually transfused within 2 weeks.
I've made an appointment to donate blood. Can I bring a friend along?
Yes, you can bring your friend. However, they will have to join the walk-in queue whereas you will have priority since you have already booked your donation slot. As such, if there are many donors on the day, you may not be able to make your donations together. Alternatively, your friend may call Singapore Red Cross at 6220 0183 to make an appointment at least one day beforehand.
Will I gain weight after blood donation?
You actually lose weight after your blood donation but your blood volume will be replaced naturally within 72 hours just by drinking water. So there is no need to increase your food intake after blood donation to compensate for blood loss.
Can I specify whom I want to donate my blood to?
We do not collect directed donations. Blood is regularly supplied to hospitals all over Singapore based on their needs. If you are going for a surgery and would like to donate blood for your own use beforehand, please contact the Health Sciences Authority for more information.
My organisation wants to organise a blood-drive. Whom should I contact for more information?
To organise a blood-drive either on your organisation's premises or in the community, please contact the Singapore Red Cross at 6220 0183 or visit donorweb.org for more information.
What is the interval between donations?
You should wait at least 12 weeks before making your next blood donation. For apheresis donations, the waiting period is 4 weeks between donations.