Smokers and individuals who take alcoholic drinks can still take part in bloodletting activities, the Department of Health said.
“If you’re a smoker, no problem, but be sure, at least four hours before the donation time, hindi nakapagsigarilyo,” Philippine Blood Center (PBC) Blood Technical Services Division chief Maria Concepcion Isberto said in a media forum.
“Let’s include the alcoholics, chronic alcoholism, sorry, that’s a deferral, but occasional drinking is okay, so, if you will be donating tomorrow, you shouldn’t be drinking tonight.”
Isberto said individuals who are between 16 and 65 years old, at least 110 pounds or 50 kilograms, and generally in good health can donate blood.
Their systolic and diastolic blood pressure must be within normal limits and their hemoglobin must be 125 to 175 g/L for females and 135- 185 g/L for males.
They must also have a well-balanced meal within four hours and at least six hours of good sleep before donation.
The DOH PBC will screen all individuals who would sign up for blood donation.
The screening includes blood pressure check and testing for transfusion of transmissible infection.
Isberto said pregnant women, promiscuous or high-risk individuals like sexual workers, individuals who have sexually transmitted infections, cancer patients, and individuals who have a history of cancer or are undergoing chemotherapy are disqualified from donating blood.
Women who gave birth and are breastfeeding can donate blood after a year. Those who had ear piercing or had tattoos may also donate after a year.
Blood donation has benefits, such as weight loss promotion, blood cholesterol reduction, healthy heart, improvement of emotional well-being, stimulation of blood cell production, and maintenance of optimal iron levels, Isberto said. – PNA