Ever considered donating blood in Hong Kong? As the blood banks run dangerously low, we’ve created a guide on everything you need to know about helping out.
Thinking about volunteering or contributing to social enterprises in Hong Kong to make a change? You can do you part, simply by visiting a blood donor centre. In addition to helping refugees and other marginalised communities, we at Honeycombers highly encourage everyone to go out and take action to help the city we call home. Feeling unsure? Read on to find out more about donating blood in Hong Kong.
Your FAQs about donating blood in Hong Kong, answered
Is donating blood dangerous?
No, donating blood is not dangerous. New, sterile disposable equipment is used for each donor, so there’s no risk of getting AIDS or any other blood-borne infectious diseases from giving blood. Plus, to ensure you’re healthy enough on the day, you’ll receive a health screening at the beginning of the appointment to check your temperature, blood pressure, and haemoglobin.
Donating a pint of blood takes about 10 minutes, during which you’ll be seated comfortably or lying down. After donation, there are drinks and snacks offered to help you rest up and replace the fluids lost. The body will replenish itself over a few days.
What is the donation criteria?
You’re eligible to donate blood in Hong Kong if you:
- Are between 16 and 65 years old
- Weigh at least 41 kg (90 lbs)
- Are not under doctor’s treatment or taking medication
- Have not had symptoms of flu, fever, or other illness in the past two weeks
In addition to the above, there are a few other things to watch out for. Have you received vaccines or dental treatments recently? Have you had tattoos, piercings, or acupuncture within the last six months? If so, you may not be able to donate.
Where can I donate blood in Hong Kong?
As of August 2023, there are 10 Red Cross donor centres in Hong Kong. You’ll find them in areas such as Central, Mong Kok, Sha Tin, Kwun Tong, and more. There are mobile donation services and vehicles, too.
How do I prepare for the day of my donation?
- Get a good night’s sleep before the evening before your donation
- Eat at least four hours prior to the donation (to avoid hypoglycaemia)
- Stay hydrated
- Remember to bring your HKID or travel documents
- Don’t wear clothes with tight sleeves
Read the official Blood Donation Info Pack.
How is my blood saving others’ lives?
Don’t underestimate your influence! Although you’re only donating around 400 ml of blood each time, a single donation can help three or more diverse types of patients. Your red blood cells can aid those with anaemia; whereas your white blood cells can protect those with compromised immunity against bacterial invasion. Also, your blood platelets can help those who have problems with blood clotting, and your plasma can assist those with impaired liver function.
Donating blood in Hong Kong has never been more crucial, so make sure to help if you can!
The information in this article is taken from Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service and the American Red Cross. If you have any specific concerns, make sure to consult qualified medical professionals or healthcare providers for personalised advice and guidance.
[This article was originally published in August 2020 and updated in 2023 by Elaine Wong.]