Donating blood to a blood bank is a great act, in my opinion. Nothing’s more thoughtful than giving away your blood for the people who need it the most. So a new foreign national in our country asked me where blood in Saudi Arabia can be donated. I didn’t know any place either so I recommended hospitals only. However, after this question, she asked if Muslims could take blood from non-Muslims? This left me thinking if blood donation to a blood bank is even an allowed act in Islam or not? But keeping religious views aside, a life is life and anything which we can do to save it should be done. We are all humans after all. So there are several blood banks that take up blood and mostly, only those people come to donate blood whose relatives or friends need it. They don’t donate it randomly to blood banks for anyone.[irp]
It’s mostly men who donate blood by their choice and this is because the King stated that anyone who receives their driving license must donate blood and women are not one of them. Secondly, it’s also because then special women-only blood banks would have to be made. Any way to clear my confusion, I read how the Quran states that donating blood is a highly valuable task in Islam and that it makes no differences about gender, race or color when it comes to saving lives! This is ironic for some people because people only tend to save lives of the people they know of and not of strangers. Now the surprising part here is that in Saudi, there’s a thing said that one shouldn’t touch the about-to-depart-soul because the last person who is near or has touched the almost-dead person shall be blamed for his or her death. This denies the Islamic law of donating blood but oh well.
So blood donation should be done voluntarily as well. Who gets the blood is the question now. Anyone can get the blood! Nothing states how Muslims should get Muslim blood and Christians should get Christian blood. It sounds pointless itself because the Quran teaches us to be a good Muslim and the good Muslim package includes saving other peoples’ lives. Blood can be given to in blood banks or even a portable blood bank by Saudi that holds several campaigns for this purpose. 14th June is the national Blood Donor Day and everyone on that day should be eager enough to donate blood to blood banks. Focus this year would be for mothers who are going through maternal problems and more women would be encouraged to take part in this. Below are a few of blood banks and hospitals in Saudi:[irp]
- King Khalid University Hospital in Riyadh
- King Abdul Aziz Medical City in Riyadh
- King Abdul Aziz Hospital in Jeddah
- Blood Bank of King Fahd in Al-Khobar
- Dammam Medical Complex in Dammam
Important tips for Donating Blood in Saudi Arabia
Blood can be donated by anyone who’s in between of 17 and 60, has a minimum weight of 45 kg, haven’t donated blood in the last 90 days and isn’t suffering from a transmittable disease.
Blood donation is temporarily prohibited for people who had dental work done in the past 5 weeks, taking antibiotics, have gotten tattoos recently, smoked or had alcohol in the last 72 hours and anemic patients.
Blood can never be donated by people who are Hepatitis B/C patients, HIV positives, diabetics and alcoholics.
Going for the donation, you must have eaten healthy food, lots of fluids, a good sleep and haven’t consumed alcohol or smoked.
After donation, you must lie down straight, take liquids in the form of juices, leave the bandage for 4 hours and have a protein rich diet!