"One blood donation can save up to three lives" - this could be the phrase most commonly heard about blood donation.
And for Lim Cheng Hui, a blood donor who is also a nurse with Tan Tock Seng Hospital, she finally understood what it means when she witnessed how blood donation managed to save the life of a patient she knew.
"There was a patient who was transferred from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital to my intensive care unit, and she required urgent plasmapheresis," recalled Cheng Hui.
The patient was diagnosed with Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, a rare blood disorder. Her condition was life-threatening, and Cheng Hui knew the patient would require multiple packs of plasma in order to save her.
Within two hours from the arrival time of the patient, the team of doctors and nurses initiated the plasma exchange by a trained plasmapheresis nurse. Approximately 20 packets of plasma were used. The whole procedure took around six hours to complete, not including the interruption they had when we needed to get the plasma supply.
"I was thankful that my patient tolerated the procedure relatively well, and I realise the importance of blood donation. I have donated blood 6 times, and I can’t emphasise enough that without the donated blood, the patient might not have survived, let alone perform rescue operations," added Cheng Hui.
Every hour of the day, 15 units of blood are used in Singapore. More than 100,000 units of blood are needed to meet the transfusion needs of patients every year, equivalent to more than 400 units of blood a day. You too can make a difference and help patients in need. Learn more about blood donation here.