Blood Donation Process in Bhutan

On a weekend where we actually had plenty to do already, Kuenga had the brilliant idea to donate blood. Being a fairly regular blood donor back home myself, I thought it was a good idea to check how things were done and maybe make a donation myself.

We made our way to the blood donation centre at the local hospital and it turned out that there was a mass donation exercise supported by the JICA Alumni Association of Bhutan. It was fun to observe how the donation was conducted here in Bhutan and compare it with the way it was back home. The biggest difference is that no local anaesthetic is used here. Gulp. I was too chicken to make a donation without anaesthetic, and I also remembered that my last donation was in October (just before I left Singapore) so I’m not due for my next donation just yet.

Getting Ready

After the donation, I shared a funny observation with Kuenga. The typical donation for ladies is 300ml, which is actually less than your average can of Coca-Cola (330ml). In local Bhutanese terms, this works out to less than 2 bottles of Litchee (lychee) at 170ml per bottle. I think Kuenga felt a little deflated after that factoid but was quite tickled at the comparison.

Because it was a mass donation exercise, a small platter of snacks was served with tea after the donation. On top of that, a packet of crackers and two bottles of litchee drinks were given to the donors. It was very nice gesture in my opinion. Turnout for the mass donation exercise appeared to be fairly good; I reckoned about 200 people turned up and it must have been a good day for the blood bank.

Tea and Snacks

Photo set of the whole process is here (if the mere sight of blood makes you really queasy, it’s probably not a good idea to view the set).