Hong Kong: 48 blood donors rejected due to low hemoglobin

Hong Kong | Asia Samachar | 20 April 2015

Almost half the 103 people who turned up to donate blood at the Hong Kong gurdwara, organised as part of its Vaisakhi celebration, were rejected due to low levels of hemoglobin.

All in, 55 of the Sikhs and members of the other Indian communities who came forward to donate blood on April 19 were able to do so. However, 48 were not allowed to do so after pre-donation screening found that they had low hemoglobin levels.

“We never saw such a high rate of rejection. We will get more details to see what advise to give those rejected,” said Jasmeet Singh, one of the organisers of the event.

The blood donation was organised by the Khalsa Diwan Hong Kong (Sikh Temple) with the Hong Kong Red Cross. The gurdwara,  located at 371, Queens Road East in Wan Chai, is the only gurdwara catering for the estimated 20,000 Sikhs in Hong Kong.

As part of its Vaisakhi celebration, the gurdwara had also organised games for children, a nagar kirtan and a women’s health talk a week earlier.



Ready to donate blood in Hong Kong - PHOTO JESMEET SINGH
Ready to donate blood in Hong Kong – PHOTO JESMEET SINGH

In one recent year, 12% (or over 35,000) people were rejected due to low hemoglobin level at the pre-donation screening, according to one document on the Hong Kong Red Cross website.

Iron is a major component for hemoglobin, and iron deficiency is a common cause of anaemia, with pregnant women and vegetarians listed in the high risk groups.

Iron deficiency anaemia is a condition where a lack of iron in the body leads to a reduction in the number of red blood cells. [Read more about it here].

Similar to other developed countries, only 3% of the total population in Hong Kong donate blood (Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service 2003), according to a 2003 report in a research journal.

It is estimated that the availability of blood donors in Hong Kong is getting very limited in the next decades, according to the report in the Asian Journal of Transfusion Science.

Hence, the efforts of the Hong Kong gurdwara authorities plays an important role in ensuring continued supply of blood to the Hong Kong blood bank.


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