Diabetics allowed to donate blood
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
DIABETICS are allowed to donate blood as long as they keep their chronic disease under control and meet other eligibility requirements, said the supervisor of Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hjh Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital’s Blood Donation Centre.
Hj Matusop Hj Daud said diabetics who do not take insulin are eligible to donate blood.
Speaking on the sidelines of a recent blood donation event at RIPAS Hospital, the supervisor said members of the public, including diabetics, are encouraged to donate blood for the centre to maintain a sufficient amount of blood supply.
“Everyone is welcome to donate blood, because to be honest the hospital relies on the constant supply of it,” he said, adding that an average of 55 pints of donated blood are needed daily in the country.
“To avoid shortages, we go to schools to encourage students to give blood,” he said.
People with diabetes who are interested to donate blood must have a controlled sugar level, be in good health and maintain blood pressure below 180/100.
He said the blood bank usually checks donors’ eligibility through a series of questions and tests to ensure the donors are fit to donate blood.
“Donors must keep in mind that they might still be disqualified even if they do not take insulin. For example, you may not be eligible to donate if you have received insulin a year ago,” he said.
Hj Matusop added that blood donation is safe for those who manage their diabetes with oral therapy and have no complications or other underlying medical conditions, but advised diabetics interested in donating blood to seek further medical advice.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
The supervisor added that the centre has reduced the eligibility age of blood donors in Brunei from 18 to 17, to encourage more donors to come forward.
“We need more blood donors, in other countries like Japan and Korea the eligibility age is 16 years. So last year we have reduced the age limit to get more donors,” he said, adding that they have also reduced the weight limit of blood donors from 50kg to 45kg.
“More students and youth are now very active in giving blood and helping the ones who are in need of blood, but we welcome even more to donate,” he added.
According a previous report, RIPAS Hospital recorded an increase in blood donors, from 11,298 people in 2014 to 11,680 last year.
The Brunei Times