I'm 16 years old. I want to donate blood. Do I have to submit the consent form? Can I choose not to?
For individuals aged 16 or 17 who wish to donate blood, they are required to submit a signed parental consent form. This is a necessary first step for anyone aged 16 or 17 before they are allowed to register for blood donation.
I'm a foreigner currently residing in Singapore. Can I donate blood?
For blood donations in Singapore, you are required to provide your residential address details (valid for 3 months from your intended donation date) for registration and a contact number by which we can contact you in case of an emergency or if clarification is needed.
My weight is below 45kg and I was told that the minimum weight requirement to donate blood is 45kg. Why is that so?
Blood makes up about 7% of our body weight. We collect 350ml from those who weigh 45-50kg and 450ml from anyone weighing above 50kg.
Collecting less than 300ml of blood is insufficient and taking more than that from someone weighing less than 45kg may cause them to feel giddy.
I read that my haemoglobin level needs to be a minimum of 12.5g/dl in order to donate blood. What does this mean and how do I test for it?
Haemoglobin (Hb) is a specialised protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the tissues and returns carbon dioxide from tissues to the lungs. Iron is essential for the manufacture of haemoglobin.
Prior to each blood donation, you will be tested for your Hb level usually through a simple finger-prick test at the blood donation site. Donors must have a Hb level of at least 12.5g/dl before they can donate blood. This is to ensure the safety of the donor as frequent blood donations without sufficient replacement of the iron can lead to iron deficiency anaemia.
I frequently get deferred as a blood donor due to low haemoglobin count. What can I do to boost my haemoglobin levels or prevent iron deficiency?
Iron deficiency can be prevented by eating a well-balanced diet that includes iron-rich foods. Iron from meat and seafood sources is better absorbed by the body. However, you can improve iron absorption from non-meat and non-seafood sources by consuming them together with foods and liquids rich in Vitamin C.
Foods that are rich in iron content can be found in the following (ranked from highest to lowest per standard serving within each category):
Vegetable Kang kong Spinach (bayam pasir) Chinese kale (kai lan)
Meat and seafood Pork kidney Chicken liver or pork liver Lean beef or lean mutton Canned tomato sardines Lean pork
Beans, nuts, seeds, soy products Lentils Green gram or red gram Cashew nuts Sunflower seeds or watermelon seeds White soya beans Pistachios Soya beancurd, tofu
Fruits Dried figs or dried longans Dried black dates or dried red dates Semi-dried prunes
Rice and alternatives Bran flakes Cornflakes Wholemeal pasta
I'm vegetarian. What can I eat to increase my haemoglobin level?
Iron-rich foods, such as lentils, pumpkin seeds, beans, dates, longans, grains, nuts, and green, leafy vegetables can help to ensure you meet the requirements for blood donation. Having a diet rich in Vitamin C can also help as it increases the absorption of iron in your body.
Taking iron supplements a week before your scheduled donation can also make a difference.
At the same time, avoid drinking tea/coffee/caffeine-rich drinks 1 hour before and after food, as caffeine can reduce the absorption of iron by more than 80%.
I had fever, flu and cough a few days ago. Am I still eligible to donate blood?
For cold, sore throat, flu or any other symptoms (except for fever), please wait 1 week after you've fully recovered before donating blood. For fever symptoms, please wait at least 3 weeks after you've fully recovered before donating.
Can I consume alcohol before donating blood? What if I'm a smoker?
Having a few glasses of alcohol the day before your donation is fine. However, if you're experiencing a hangover, it is not advisable for you to donate blood as there may still be some alcohol in your system.
There are no restrictions on smokers to donate blood.
I have a tattoo. Am I allowed to donate blood?
If you have just gotten your tattoo, you should defer donations for at least 12 months (unless disposable needles were used) and you'll need to inform the attending doctor/nurse.
I do not know my blood type. Is it a requirement to know my blood type before donation? Will the staff be able to instantly test which blood group I belong to?
You do not need to know your blood type beforehand, nor will our staff be able to test your blood type for you prior to your donation. However, following your donation, your blood will be tested for its type and you will be informed of your blood group on your next donation.