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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 22 August 2018

Blood donors answer the call to help emergency care

New mobile app will make it easier for donors to register their details and get notifications when demand spikes

Blood donors can use a mobile app to be notified when demand for supplies increases. Ravindranath K / The National
Blood donors can use a mobile app to be notified when demand for supplies increases. Ravindranath K / The National

Generous donors have offered more than 27,000 blood units in Dubai to help patients in need of a transfusion in the first six months of 2018.

More than a third of those donations will be used by Dubai Health Authority to treat patients with genetic blood conditions.

The Dubai Blood Donation Centre in Healthcare City collected 27,401 blood units in the first six months of 2018, with 38 per cent supplied to the Thalassemia Centre, where patients with blood disorders are treated.

Thalassemia is an inherited genetic condition relatively common condition in the region that depletes red blood cells, causing anaemia.

“The centre is committed to providing a safe and adequate supply of blood to save the lives of patients who require transfusions,” said Dr Mai Raouf, director of the Dubai Blood Donation Centre.

“To ensure a sufficient supply, the centre strives to use the latest technologies and the best practices to enhance the safety of blood transfusion.”

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In the first half of the year, 16 per cent of the donated blood was used by Dubai Hospital, 14 per cent at Rashid Hospital, eight per cent was supplied to Latifa Hospital and three per cent to Hatta Hospital.

The remaining 21 per cent of blood supplied was given to the private sector.

Donors also supplied 2,657 platelets during the same six-month period, crucial to helping the blood to clot.

The centre is the emirate’s only clinic offering a blood donor service, and provides around 50 per cent of the total blood collected throughout the country.

In 2017, the centre received 64,666 donors, collecting 50,601 blood units and 5,828 platelets.

It has had an international accreditation from the American Association of Blood Banks since 2012, and recently developed a mobile app to help encourage more donors to come forward to help.

The DAMMI — meaning ‘my blood’ — app makes it easier for people to find where and when they can make a blood donation, and who is eligible.

People can register their details to be contacted during emergencies and disasters to donate blood when it is most needed.

“The app will help avoid human errors and will add an extra layer to transfusion safety,” said Dr Raouf.

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