Target non-donors in blood donation drive

Just over a month ago, I became a first-time blood donor at the blood donation centre at the Tzu Chi Foundation in Pasir Ris.

When I shared my experience with my friends later, a few commended me for being "brave", while others felt blood donation was best left to the "able-bodied".

The part that people probably find most unnerving about blood donation is the drawing of blood.

However, this required no more hardship than my lying down and keeping still for the medical officer to do her part.

With a friendly volunteer present to distract me with chit-chat while blood was being drawn from my right arm, the procedure was all over in a little over 10 minutes.

It went practically unnoticed by me and there was no pain.

The public are probably familiar with the slogan "Give Blood, Save Lives", but clearly there are still misconceptions that need to be corrected among non-donors.

Perhaps the Red Cross could organise a blood donation drive targeted at those who have never donated blood before, customising this exercise by appointment slots and in groups - with minimum waiting time involved and friendly volunteers at hand.

Doing so would do away with queueing at the centre, which could exacerbate a first-timer's anxiety.

These non-donors are a large group who could potentially become regular blood donors in future.

Ooi Mun Kong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2015, with the headline 'Target non-donors in blood donation drive'. Print Edition | Subscribe