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Blood Donation in Hong Kong: All You Need to Know

A single blood donation can save three or more people. Read our guide to blood donation in Hong Kong.
Last Update:
August 16, 2021
alea
Fact Checked
Blood Donation in Hong Kong: All You Need to Know
Blood Donation in Hong Kong: All You Need to Know
A single blood donation can save three or more people. Read our guide to blood donation in Hong Kong.
Last Update: August 16, 2021

Ever thought about donating blood in Hong Kong? In fact, a single blood donation can help three or more people as it provides different blood components to help different patients in need. Whether you are interested in becoming a new donor, or just curious about the procedure, here are the answers to all your questions about blood donation in Hong Kong.


Blood donation during COVID-19

Under COVID-19, the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service has implemented a few precautionary measures to maintain blood safety.

  • Anyone who has recently traveled outside Hong Kong to any destinations will be deferred from blood donation for 28 days upon arrival in Hong Kong
  • Anyone who had close contact with a COVID-19 confirmed case will be deferred from blood donation for 28 days
  • Anyone who has been confirmed as a COVID-19 case will be deferred from blood donation for 180 days after complete recovery

Meanwhile, the Hospital Authority Expert Panel on Blood and Blood Products Safety has announced additional blood donor screening policies respecting the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme. Prospective donors who have received any of the COVID-19 vaccines should be deferred from blood donation for 7 days or more if they experience post-vaccination side effects (i.e. 14 days after side effects have disappeared).

Blood donation in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service (BTS) is the only public institution that provides blood to all public and private hospitals in Hong Kong. The voluntary blood donation program was first launched in 1952 and has been managed by the Hospital Authority since 1991.

To provide some background information, in 2019, a total of 146,200 donors participated in blood donation, constituting 2.7% of the eligible population in Hong Kong. Of all donors in 2019, over 85% were repeat donors. At the present, the daily recruitment target set by BTS is 1,100, however under the pandemic, numbers have dropped drastically to 400–600 per day.

Who can donate blood?

To be eligible for a blood donation, you must:

  • Be aged 16 to 66 on the day of your first donation
  • Weigh over 41kg (90 pounds)
  • Have not had a flu or fever in the past 14 days

For donors aged 16 to 17, parental consent is required prior to their first donation. For donors over the age of 66, if you have made a donation in the past 2 years, you can still be eligible for blood donation until your 76th birthday.


Medical history and medication

You will be temporarily deferred for about 7 days after receiving medications (including herbal medicine). Contact the donor centers for detailed recommendations on your specific situation.

If you have any chronic condition (i.e. hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol level, etc.) and your condition is under control with no change in your medication dosage in the past 4 weeks, you may be eligible for blood donation. Nevertheless, you are recommended to consult your doctor beforehand.

If you have had any dental procedure or vaccination recently, you may be temporarily deferred from donation. People who have had a piercing, tattoo, or acupuncture within 12 months are also non-eligible for donation. It is important to note that if you suspect your blood carries a potential risk of transmitting an infection, please do not proceed with any blood donation.

All donors have to undergo a screening process by completing a health history questionnaire, haemoglobin and blood pressure check, etc. as deemed necessary by the medical staff. Before heading to a donor center, you can conduct a preliminary self-assessment online to find out about your eligibility.

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What is the donated blood used for?

Fresh blood products collected from the donation program will be supplied to all public and private hospitals in Hong Kong and will be used for treatments of chronic diseases as well as surgeries following illness or accidents. Common procedures using donated blood include serious injuries from vehicle accidents, childbirth, anaemia, blood disorders and cancer treatment.

After collection, the blood product will go through a series of processes including ABO blood grouping, atypical antibodies screening, infectious disease testing and blood labeling. Around 98% of the donated blood is processed into different blood components (i.e. red cells, platelets, frozen plasma and leucocytes) before being issued for clinical use.

In 2019 for example, over 60% of the blood products were used for treatments of patients aged over 60.

Where can I donate blood?

There are 10 donor centers across the territory that are open to the public. You may check their estimated waiting time on Red Cross’ official website.


Hong Kong Island

Causeway Bay Donor Center

Address: 14/F, Plaza 2000, 2-4 Russell Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Opening hours: 11am–8pm
Contact: 28342084


Central District Donor Center

Address: 1/F, Tung Ming Building, 40-42 Des Voeux Road C, Central, Hong Kong
Opening hours: 11am–7pm (closed on Sunday & Public Holiday)
Contact: 25261420


Wan Chai Donor Center

Address: Unit 3, G/F, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Opening hours: 10am–6pm (closed on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday)
Contact: 63925778


Kowloon

Mongkok Donor Center

Address: 15/F Chow Tai Fook Centre, 580A Nathan Road, Mongkok, Kowloon
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 11am–9:30pm / Sunday and Public Holiday 11am–7pm)
Contact: 27705930


The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Campus Blood Donor Center

Address: Integrative Health Clinic, Room AG057, Core A, PolyU Campus (located next to Fountain Square)
Opening hours: 10am–6pm (closed on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday)
Contact: 6392 5779


West Kowloon Donor Center

Address: 6/F, Hong Kong Red Cross Headquarters,19 Hoi Ting Road, West Kowloon
Opening hours: 9:30am–6pm (opening hour on Public Holiday will be announced)
Contact: 25077733


Kwun Tong Donor Center

Address: Units 2301 & 2316, 23/F., Millennium City 5, 418 Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Opening hours: 11am–8pm
Contact: 31481375


New Territories

Shatin Donor Center

Address: 1/F, 1A, Shatin Centre Street, Shatin, New Territories
Opening hours: 11am–7pm
Contact: 26030100


Tsuen Wan Donor Center

Address: 8 Tai Ho Road, Tsuen Wan
Opening hours: 11am–8pm
Contact: 24142378


Yuen Long Donor Center

Address: Unit Nos. 704-705, 7/F, Yuen Long Landmark, 115-127 Yuen Long Castle Peak Road, Yuen Long
Opening hours: 11am–7pm
Contact: 24786000


Group donation

Upon appointment, a mobile collection team can be arranged for organizations or groups of at least 50 people, provided that an indoor venue (at least 800 square feet and complying with safety standards) is available. Otherwise, a group donation can be organized at any of the donor centers for any group of more than 3 people. Photography props and commemorative certificates can be provided.

What to do before donation


Make an appointment

Make use of the “eDONOR” online system to check your donation record and make an appointment in the next 30 days in any of the donor centers.

The “HK Blood” mobile app is another convenient tool for you to keep track of your donation history, book your next donation, self-assess your eligibility and receive the latest information from the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service. The mobile app is available on both App Store and Google Play. Check here for user instructions.


On the day of your donation

Get enough rest the night before and drink ample water before your donation. Eat within 4 hours before donating and have a diet rich in iron, such as red meat, fish, poultry, beans, spinach and so on.

On the day of donation, wear comfortable clothes with sleeves that can roll up above your elbows. If applicable, prepare a list of your medications for the nurse’s assessment of your health history. Last but not least, remember to bring along your HKID card to verify your age.

What to expect at the donor center?

When you arrive at a donor center, you will first be asked to fill the Blood Donation Registration Form. A nurse will then perform a haemoglobin test and a health screening by taking your temperature, blood pressure and asking about your health history.

Once your eligibility is confirmed, a nurse will disinfect your skin and apply local anaesthetics before performing a venepuncture. A blood sample will be taken to check your blood type and test for blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis and human T-lymphotropic virus. For each donation, about 400 milliliters of blood will be collected and the entire process should take 7–12 minutes.

After donation, you should rest for 10–15 minutes and enjoy refreshments provided by the center to replenish your fluid loss.

After your donation

If you feel dizzy after giving blood, sit down or lie down for rest until you feel better. After a blood donation, be sure to:

  • replenish your volume loss by drinking a large amount of fluid.
  • have an iron-rich diet and take vitamins to replenish your iron stores.
  • avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise within 12 hours after giving blood.
  • keep the bandage on for several hours after donation.

In addition, bruising may occur near the wound but will normally disappear within 1 to 3 weeks. If you develop any signs of an infection within the next 4 weeks, for instance hepatitis, tuberculosis or malaria, seek medical help immediately and inform the Blood Transfusion Service.

How often can I donate blood?

Donors aged 16–17 can give 3 donations per year with an interval of no less than 150 days between 2 consecutive donations.

For adults, male donors can give 5 donations per year with an interval of no less than 75 days between 2 consecutive donations; while female donors can give 4 donations per year with an interval of no less than 105 days between 2 consecutive donations.

Use the blood donation calculator to check when you can schedule your next donation.


Ready to help save lives? Schedule a donation appointment at the nearest donor center to make a difference today. Find more information at the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service official website or via their 24-hour hotline (27101234).

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This article was independently written by Alea and is not sponsored. It is informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and should never be relied upon for specific advice.