Donating blood is draining, but worth it
Blood donor who won Medal for Life says people need to connect with the act
Donating blood is a taxing process, but worth it.
On average, a person can donate up to four times a year.
But for Mr Joseph Ravindran Christie, 58, an operations manager at the Singapore Flyer, it is not enough.
Mr Christie, who has made 203 donations since he was 19, is an apheresis donor. He donates individual blood components such as plasma and platelets besides whole blood donations. It is a draining process for him.
He told The New Paper: "Even though there is a TV to distract us during the donation, it still takes a toll especially now that I'm older."
Apheresis donations take about one to two hours in order to collect a larger amount of each component, compared to the usual 45 minutes for whole blood donations.
He said: "I keep doing it because no matter how exhausted I feel, so many are still dependent on these blood donations."
According to statistics released by the Health Sciences Authority of Singapore, an estimated 118,750 blood units are needed this year.
Mr Christie, who won the Medal for Life during World Blood Donor Day last month - for reaching 200 donations - was first called up to donate blood while doing national service following the explosion and fire on board the oil tanker Spyros in 1978, which led to deaths and injuries.
He said: "It hit me that it was a simple process, it didn't take long. I always remembered the good feeling it gave me."
Mr Christie feels myths about blood donations, like how it is painful and can make you gain weight, can be debunked by raising awareness through stories from those who receive it.
"It has to be real for them, they have to connect with the act," he said.
Notice something missing from our mastheads?
If you did, don't be surprised: The missing letters were intended.
That's our way of helping draw attention to support this year's "Missing Type" campaign, an initiative launched in 2016 by the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) and the Health Sciences Authority of Singapore (HSA) to raise awareness on the importance of donating blood.
Between today and Sunday, more than 50 organisations, including The New Paper, will be removing the blood type letters - A, B and O - from their branding and signages.
Organisations such as Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Nanyang Polytechnic will be also be organising blood drives.
By highlighting the missing blood type letters, the campaign hopes to expand the blood donor pool in Singapore in order to keep up with rising blood usage rates.
According to a statement by the SRC and HSA, blood usage grew from 95,100 units in 2011 to 111,633 units last year, while the current blood donor pool is 1.87 per cent of the local residential population.
Individuals can support the campaign by uploading and sharing photos of their names without the blood type letters on social media and hashtagging #MissingTypeSG with a quote to encourage others to do the same. For more campaign information, visit redcross.sg/missingtypesg.