Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Blood Donation at the Pusat Darah Negara
"Donate Blood, Save A Life" declare the banners at the Pusat Darah Negara in Kuala Lumpur. I have never witnessed my blood being used to save a human life, so I cannot state categorically that I donate blood to save lives until I have proof of the same. What I do know, however, is that I am a grateful person, and I believe gratitude doesn't come any purer than a willingness to share what one is grateful for. And I am immensely grateful for my relatively good health, and hope that by donating blood every quarter, I may be able to assist those who are in need of a transfusion due to serious illness or injury. Perhaps it is also enough for me to know that my regular donations of blood help to maintain a community supply, in case a patient need arises.
Pusat Darah Negara (National Blood Centre) at Jalan Tun Razak is a well-maintained and well-equipped facility established for the purpose of registering and recording the data of blood donors, maintaining a supply of blood and apheresis products, conducting testing and research and providing treatment for blood disorders, among others.
The Pusat Darah Negara medical and non-medical officers have never failed to impress me with their courtesy and dedication to service. They have proven themselves to be competent, friendly and helpful on all my visits, and have never failed to show concern for my well-being prior to and after donation.
What happens to your blood after it has been collected?
Blood is almost never used in its whole form. Most patients requiring transfusions only need one or two of the many components that make up blood. It would be wasteful and sometimes harmful to give the patient blood components they do not need.
More than 99% of the whole blood collected in this region is separated into blood components that can be used to treat the specific medical needs of three or more people. Below are some of the products derived from whole blood:
Red blood cells carry oxygen and are needed by surgical patients or to treat those with anemia. Red blood cells can also be washed and filtered to prevent adverse reactions in some sensitive patients. Sometimes rare blood cell types are frozen to extend their storage period and help ensure that an adequate supply is always available.
Platelet concentrates are fragile blood cells that are an important part of the body's clotting system. They are used to control bleeding in the course of treatment of leukemia and other forms of cancer.
Plasma is the yellow liquid portion of blood. It restores fluid volume in patients who have suffered from shock and provides a source of clotting proteins that stop bleeding.
Cryoprecipitate is a part of plasma that contains certain clotting factors found in whole blood. It is used to treat clotting deficiencies like those found in people with hemophilia.
Fractionation is the process of breaking down plasma. When plasma gets mixed with certain chemicals, proteins can be separated and processed into products that are stable and easily stored. Some of the more common fractions are as follows:
Albumin is used in the treatment of certain kidney and liver diseases. Because this product is easy to store and administer, it is used in the treatment of emergency cases, such as for accident or shock victims.
Gamma globulin contains antibodies and is able to modify or prevent measles and other infectious diseases such as some varieties of hepatitis.
Factor VIII concentrates are used for treatment of patients with hemophilia.
It won’t be long before my Blood Donor booklet will have to be replaced with a new one. It shows here that I gave blood for the 29th time on my 31st birthday.
No blood donor has to go hungry at Pusat Darah Negara! The staff and nurses are usually quite insistent about making me rest for ten minutes and finish my meal before I leave. Thank you, Pusat Darah Negara, for making blood donation a consistently pleasant experience for me!
Address: Pusat Darah Negara
Jalan Tun Razak
50400, Kuala Lumpur
Phone: 03 - 2693 3888
Fax: 03 - 2698 0362
Mon – Wed: 7.30 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.
Thurs & Fri: 7.30 a.m. – 8.00 p.m.
Saturday: 7.30 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.
Sunday: ~ Closed ~