Donating blood better than getting dengue

ILOILO – Donating blood for dengue patients is better than being the dengue patient needing blood transfusion. “It’s better to give than to receive,” according to Dr. Maria Socorro Colmenares-Quiñon of the Provincial Health Office (PHO).

She urged local government units to organize blood donation drives to help dengue patients needing blood transfusion.

The provincial government was able to collect 103 bags of blood from donors in Tuesday’s bloodletting at the Social Grand Hall of Casa Real de Iloilo. Each bag contained 150ml of blood.

Dengue cases are putting a strain on the blood supply of district hospitals and the Philippine Red Cross.

Ara gid na sa aton program nga mag-donate sang blood. Dapat proactive kita, indi nga mahulat lang kita sang donasyon sang iban. Always remember this: It’s better to give than to receive,” said Quiñon.

A healthy individual may donate blood every three months, according to the Red Cross.

The 103 bags of blood collected represented 103 successful blood donors made up of provincial government employees, members of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and the “walk-ins.”

The bags are now stored at the Philippine Red Cross. It will be given to 12 provincial government-run hospitals upon request.

Some may be used to supply the needs of other areas like Iloilo City, said Quiñon.

One of the walk-in donors was 3rd District’s Cong. Lorenz Defensor, brother of Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr.

“I am very happy to volunteer and give a part of myself to save lives,” said Defensor.

Data from the Provincial Health Office (PHO) showed Iloilo having 5,435 dengue cases with 20 deaths between Jan. 1 to July 6 this year. This is 901 percent higher than the 543 cases with three deaths recorded in the same period last year.

According to Quiñon, 172 persons came over to donate blood but 69 were deferred.

“There were some who suffered from low hemoglobin, high blood pressure, had taken antibiotics, or contracted flu, that’s why they were rejected,” she explained.

But “we assure them that it is the intention that counts. Maybe in our next bloodletting activity they can be qualified to donate,” said Quiñon.

The PHO set the following criteria for donors:

* 18 to 65 years old

* weigh at least 115lb or 52.5kg

* with no major or minor surgery or procedure within the year

* no medicine or alcohol intake for at least 24 hours prior to donation

* no smoking activities for at least four hours prior to blood extraction

* have at least five hours of sleep prior to donation


Red Cross has the following answers to questions frequently asked by those interested to donate blood:

How often can a person donate?

A healthy individual may donate every three months.

Will donating blood make a person weak?

No, it will not make you weak. Donating 450cc will not cause any ill effects or weakness. The human body has the capacity to compensate with the new fluid volume. Further, the bone marrow is stimulated to produce new blood cells which in turn makes the blood forming organs function more effectively.

Can a person who has tattoo or body piercing still donate blood?

If the tattooing procedure or the piercing was done a year ago, he/she may donate. This is also applicable to acupuncture, and other procedures involving needles.

How long will it take to donate blood?

The whole process of blood donation, from the registration up to the recovery, will only take an average of 30 minutes.

The blood extraction will take about 5-10 minutes. The blood volume will start replenishing within 24 hours. Theoretically, by the end of the month, the body will have the blood status before the blood donation.

Will I contract disease through blood donation?

No, we use sterile, disposable needles and syringes./PN


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