Give Blood @ Thai Red Cross Society

Thailand is the fifth highest country worldwide in terms of road fatalities coming after Albania, Eritrea, Dominican Republic and Libya In the morbid world league table with a staggeringly high 38.1 deaths per 100,000 population per year.

I'm not going to go into the reasons behind the high number of fatalities because that isn't what this feature is about, but most people are well aware of them.

What this feature is about is helping those that have unfortunately been involved in road traffic accidents and are in desperate need of the most vital constituent of the human body - blood.

Blood is a bodily fluid that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells. It's functions include: Supply of oxygen to tissues (bound to hemoglobin, which is carried in red cells; Supply of nutrients such as glucose, amino acids, and fatty acids(dissolved in the blood or bound to plasma proteins (e.g., blood lipids)); Removal of waste such as carbon dioxide, urea, and lactic acid; Immunological functions, including circulation of white blood cells, and detection of foreign material by antibodies; Coagulation, the response to a broken blood vessel, the conversion of blood from a liquid to a semi-solid gel to stop bleeding; Messenger functions, including the transport of hormones and the signalling of tissue damage; Regulation of body pH; Regulation of core body temperature; and Hydraulic functions

If you want to give blood in Korat there are a number of options, any of the hospitals will gladly take donations and there is even a walk-by (well sit down for a few minutes really) service on the top floor of The Mall.

My particular favourite is the Thai Red Cross Society Blood Donation Centre which is located on Rajadamnern Road, just down from Yamo. 

It's an unassuming and spotlessly clean mini surgery manned by nurses in immaculately turned out uniforms. It consists of two main rooms, the larger has a small reception area where they take your details and do some simple tests, and a larger area where all the beds that are used for the donors are lined up. There is also a smaller room which is used to relax after your donation where you are given Iron tablets, a rich milky chocolate drink, and water, which all help the body start re-generating the lost blood quickly. Unfortunately you don't get the traditional British reward of Tea and Biscuits but I think the Thai rewards are actually more beneficial if not as tasty.

When you arrive they take a small blood sample for testing purposes, and your blood pressure. The blood test is done electronically and takes seconds. As long as you have no health problems and there is nothing wrong with your blood you should be good to go. This takes around 10 minutes.

The next process is actually giving blood and this couldn't be easier. You just lie back on one of the beds and let the nurses insert a very small needle into one of your arms. There is a tiny amount of pain when the needle is inserted as would be expected but that quickly disappears. The needle is then connected to a collection bag which is slowly filled with blood.

It takes about 20 minutes to fill the bag so you should be in and out of there in about 30-40 minutes. You then leave and carry on with life as normal.

Many people feel a little tired for a few days after the donation but that is the only normal side effect. After that has passed you'll be back to your old self.

The centre is run by The Red Cross and adheres to their worldwide standards. All equipment used is of the highest quality and all steralisation is done to their international standards. There is therefore no need for concerns about the risks of catching infections or diseases.

The Thai Red Cross Society Centre is open 5 days a week from 8:00am to 4:00pm.

Tel: 044 254 615

FF


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