Over the past couple of months, the British Mums community has seen several posts shared by members urging everyone to donate blood – whether it’s for a mum and her newborn baby, a surgery with complications or a friend who is in desperate need. We all know that giving blood can save lives and therefore sent the British Mums team down to the Dubai Blood Donation Centre at Latifa Hospital to get all the info you need so you can plan your trip and make a difference today!
Planning Your Trip
Dubai Blood Donation Centre is located at Latifa Hospital, so it’s really easy to find – saying that we did get a tad lost in the car park itself, but getting there was so easy. About 25 minutes’ drive from The Palm and Arabian Ranches, we set off straight after the school run and didn’t hit traffic once. The centre is open from 7.30am – 7pm from Sunday through to Thursday so ideal to grab some mum friends from school and get down there – plus loads of fab brekkie spots nearby afterwards to reward yourself for your good deed!
There’s a questionnaire that needs to be completed before you give blood and this can be done so prior to arriving to save yourself some time. Just download the DHA app and find the tab entitled Dammi – Blood Donation and you’ll find loads of info plus the health questionnaire there.
On arrival at the Blood Donation Centre, just follow the red line through the building and outside to the Blood Donation Tent. When you arrive, you’ll need to get your temperature tested and fill in the questionnaire if you haven’t already done so. When we got there, it was so quiet that we went straight to the registration counter to sign in. The only thing you need to take with you is your Emirates ID which you present at this stage.
The team will ask if you are making a donation for a specific patient and if you are then they’ll ensure your blood (as long as it’s a match) is assigned to that specific case. Otherwise you can just make a general donation and your blood will be used for the first person who needs it.
Once registered you’ll then be sent to the Medical Counter for a quick chat with a nurse about your current state of health. A quick blood prick to test your haemoglobin levels (they must be over 12.5) and then you’re good to head towards the private woman’s only section to start the process.
At this stage we should mention that you’ll have needed to have breakfast before giving blood. But, if like us, you were too preoccupied with lunch boxes, walking the dog and remembering library books that you hadn’t had a chance to eat, there’s a range of healthy snacks, juices and water available to ensure there’s something in your system both before and after giving blood.
If you’ve given birth, then a little needle prick is nothing in comparison. The lovely lady who took our blood was super kind, gentle and very good at distracting us while she set everything up. Each donation is 450ml with some extra blood taken for necessary testing and we reckon it took less than 10 minutes each. It was quick, convenient and didn’t hurt one bit – until we came to taking our bandage off – that was a bit like a wax – but nothing to complain too strongly about!
From start to finish, we were about 40 minutes, so with the commute, it was only an hour and a half out of our day. 90 minutes for what could save someone’s life – it’s a no-brainer really! Whilst all blood types are welcome, negative blood is in short supply and needed the most. If you’re not sure of your blood type, they can let you know when you go, but if you’ve got negative blood then you’ll have had the Anti-D injection during pregnancy and after giving birth, so you should be aware of your blood type.
Find out More
For any questions regarding giving blood, eligibility or to learn more about blood donation, then please contact 800 342 or use the fabulous resources available on the DHA app.