The Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) Dubai Blood Donation Centre received 41,635 blood donors from the beginning of the year until August 18, 2020, out of which 31,258 donors successfully donated blood ; 3,195 platelets apheresis units and 104 double red cells donation were collected.
A total of 42,493 blood units were issued during the same time period out of which, 26,959 blood units were distributed to DHA hospitals and 15,534 were issued to private hospitals in Dubai. Meanwhile 3,973 platelets units and 8,529 plasmas units were issued to both public and private hospitals.
The center also played an important role in collecting convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients where 195 plasma donors have donated successfully during the pandemic.
New Blood Donation Tent
Dr Farida Al Khaja, CEO of DHA’s Clinical Support Services and Nursing Sector said that another fixed blood donation site has been set up next to the Dubai blood donation centre to further ensure social distancing and safety of blood donors and to ensure smooth and speedy services.
“The tent can smoothly process 70 -250 donors a day. The centre has a spacious waiting area and post-donation refreshment area. It is equipped with 12 beds and modern medical equipment. It also has a personal sanitization tunnel, thermal camera and follows a frequent cleaning policy for beds and surfaces after each donor,” said Dr Al Khaja.
New procedures and guidelines during COVID-19 pandemic
Al Khaja added that new conditions for donating blood were put in place during the pandemic.
“The Dubai Blood Donation Centre constantly strives to ensure that a sufficient supply of blood is available for patients in need by putting in place the best practices to enhance the safety of blood transfusion. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have put in place new conditions for donating blood, which includes deferral for those coming from abroad from donating blood for two weeks to ensure the safety of donors and recipients of blood,” said Dr Al Khaja.
Dubai Blood Donation Centre Services
Dr Hussain Al Samt, Director of the Department of Pathology & Genetics said that the Dubai blood donation centre— which is the only blood donation centre in Dubai—provides around 50 per cent of the total blood collected throughout the country.
He added that the centre provides services that include collecting whole blood and double red blood cells donations, platelet apheresis, medical counselling for blood donors with infectious diseases and convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. The centre is the first AABB accredited blood donation centre in United Arab Emirates and DHA is keen to ensure quality of services and safety of blood transfusion.
Dr Mai Raouf, the Director of the Dubai Blood Donation Centre added that the centre has extended its working hours to meet customers’ needs so that they are from 07:00am to 08:30 pm, Sunday – Thursday. To also meet customers’ needs Dr Raouf said the Dubai blood donation center has added new additional parking lots for blood donors; around 20 parking lots to ensure customers happiness and satisfaction.
“We highly appreciate the generous contributions of voluntary blood donors who continue to donate blood always and even during the pandemic,” concluded Dr Raouf.