The Fiji National Blood Service aims to ensure a safe, adequate and equitable supply of blood to all who need it. The safest blood donors are those who donate voluntarily in order to save lives. The Fiji National Blood Service collected 13,593 donations of blood in 2013. Every year we need more blood donations as new surgical procedures are introduced and as the population grows. By 2018, we are aiming to collect 17,500 blood donations a year. Why give blood? Blood is vital to life and for many people blood donors are their lifeline.
How does my blood help save lives?
In Fiji hospitals we need about 50 pints of blood every day for pregnant mothers with anaemia or bleeding, accident victims, patients with cancer, complications of diabetes and patients needing surgery to name a few. Blood is made up of several components – red blood cells, plasma and platelets. In the laboratory we separate the blood into these different components, under sterile conditions. Each component can then be used to treat a patient with a different condition, so one donation can help save 3 lives!
Who can donate blood?
If you are male or female, between the ages of 16 and 65, weigh more than 50kg and you are fit and healthy, you can donate blood. It is safe for people with some illnesses and on some medications to safely donate blood, so if in doubt, please ask at your blood centre.
Who can’t donate blood?
- Women who are pregnant or who have recently been pregnant/ breastfeeding should not give blood.
- Anyone who currently has an infection – cold, sore throat, stomach bug, cold sore or infected sore.
- Anyone who has recently had a tattoo or body piercing
- Anyone who’s behaviour puts them at risk of blood borne and sexually transmitted infections (Hepatitis, Syphilis and HIV)
- Anyone who comes from or has recently travelled to a country where there is malaria.
Is donating blood harmful to me?
The average adult has about 8 pints of blood and can easily spare a donation of less than a pint (450ml). Your body is making blood cells all the time, so it will quickly replace this amount. If you are fit and healthy, you should not experience any problems. Blood donors have to pass a health check, including a check on your iron level, before we collect your blood.
Is blood donation painful?
All our staff are experienced and we use a local anaesthetic on the skin to make sure giving blood is as painless as possible.
Where can I give blood?
You can donate at the Blood Centres in CWM, Lautoka and Lambasa Hospitals at any time, or look out for blood drives throughout Fiji. The Blood Centres at CWM and Lautoka Hospitals are open weekday evenings until 9pm.They are also open at weekends. Check for times.
Blood Donation Process
Who takes my blood?
Your blood will be collected by a Phlebotomist, someone who is specially trained for the job. All our staff are experienced and we use a local anaesthetic on the skin to make sure giving blood is as painless as possible.
How often can I give blood?
Men can donate blood every three months and women can donate every four months, as long as they pass all our health checks.
What is the process for donating blood?
See slideshow below.
What should I do before I give blood?
You should make sure you have had something to eat before giving blood and drink plenty of fluids before and after – but not alcohol.
What can I tell my friends?
Why not do something amazing – become a blood donor and save lives!
What tests are done on my blood?
All donated blood is tested for the ABO blood group and also Rh Positive or Negative. Blood donors receive a card with their blood group. Blood is also tested for infections which can be transmitted to a patient receiving a blood transfusion – Hepatitis, Syphilis and HIV. Any blood donor testing positive for any of these infections will be contacted by a nurse to provide counseling and treatment.
Can I catch AIDS by giving blood?
No. Blood donors cannot catch AIDS or any other infection by giving blood. All the equipment used is sterile, used only once and then discarded.
I would like to give blood but I’m busy at work during the day?
The Blood Centres at CWM and Lautoka Hospitals are open weekdays from 8am to 9pm. They are also open at weekends. Check for times If you can’t get to one of our Blood Centres at the Division Hospital, look out for a Blood Drive in your area. Or why not organize a Blood Drive at your work place or place of worship and the Mobile Donor Team can come to you? Ring your nearest Blood Centre for more information.