United Arab Emirates, Dubai, June 12, 2013: The DHA's Dubai Blood Donation Centre, which is the only central blood donation centre for the emirate of Dubai, thanked its 80,000 donors ahead of World Blood Donor Day which falls on the 14th of June this year.
The centre, which was established in 1986, is the main provider for blood and blood products, which is supplied to DHA hospitals and more than 27 private hospitals in the emirate of Dubai.
Dr Laila Al Shaer, Director of Blood Donation Centre at the DHA, said: “I would like to take the opportunity to thank the 80 staff members of the centre and our 80,000 donors for their generosity in providing the gift of life.”
“ In 2012, the centre was able to achieve 97 per cent donor satisfaction, we collected 42,400 life-saving blood donations, a 17 per cent increase compared to 2011 and this was possible because our donors are committed to serving the members of our society. None of these were paid donations; this reflects the commitment of our society in reaching out to those in need of the most precious gift of life.
“It is important to understand how the whole blood collected was used,” said Al Shaer. “The DBDC blood collects 50 per cent of the total blood collected in the UAE. Fourty-three per cent of the blood was provided to Thalassemia patients, some as young as six months old, 27 per cent of the blood was used for Rashid Hospital patients, this includes patients admitted to the Trauma and Emergency centre, while six per cent of the blood was used for patients at Latifa Hospital mainly for maternity cases that experience bleeding post-delivery and need transfusions.”
In terms of blood products, Al Shaer said the DBDC is seeing an increase in collections. “Single donor platelets (SDP) collected from the aphaeresis unit has increased by 47 per cent in 2012 as compared to 2011. There has been an overall increase in the collection of blood products including packed cells (PC), fresh frozen plasma (FFP), cryoprecipitate (CRYO), and single donor platelets (SDP).
In terms of whether Dubai is meeting its demand for blood and blood products, Al Shaer, said: “Yes, we are meeting demand but I would like to encourage people to put their names in our database so that we can contact them according to the demand and supply. People need to understand that blood expires every 42 days; platelets (which are needed mainly for cancer patients and those experiencing bleeding due an accident or surgical procedure) expire in just seven days. Therefore, we prefer to have regular donors who register with us and who can be contacted depending on the need of the centre. Of course a certain amount of all blood and platelets are stored but we cannot overstock a product with such a short shelf life.”
Having a database of donors is particularly important for rare blood groups such as O-ve, said Al Shaer. “A person with this blood group can supply blood to all blood groups but an individual with this blood group can only receive O-ve blood.”
She stated that of the 42,400 units collected in 2012, 66 per cent was collected through blood donation campaigns conducted by the centre and only 34 per cent was collected through walk-ins.
Al Shaer said that the centre is accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and follows the highest level of quality standards for blood collection, processing and storage.
The DHA blood donation centre is located in the premises of Latifa Hospital and individuals interested to donate blood may contact the centre on 009714 2193221 or alternately they can contact the new blood donation site located in the premises of General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs. The site is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those interested can call 009714 7075599.
**Press release from the Dubai Health Authority **