Hong Kong health care and hospitals

Blood donation needles are safe, but this needs pointing out to the older generation

    PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 December, 2018, 1:01pm
    UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 December, 2018, 1:01pm

    I agree with your correspondent Ocean Wong (“How blood donation could be Hongkongers’ way to ease the stress on the city’s public hospitals”, December 8).

    Besides the misconceptions regarding blood donation mentioned by Ms Wong, there are other factors that we have to consider.

    For example: the much more conservative older generation who are against their children donating blood, for fear that the needle used for collecting the blood is not one-time use only, and may be contaminated.

    I remember that during my school years in the 1990s, my secondary school had a blood donation day each year, and the first time I came across it was when I was in Secondary 3.

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    However, no matter how much I wanted to participate in that meaningful activity in school the next day, my mother objected to signing the consent form for fear that the needle may be contaminated, as she was not sure whether the needle used by the Red Cross would be discarded after one use.

    Only after much protest did my mother sign the form eventually.

    So in my view, our government will have to do much to change the misconceptions of our older folks if they are to get the number of blood donors up.

    This will certainly take some time, as the deep-rooted prejudice regarding the safety of needles used for blood donation cannot be changed overnight.

    Eunice Li, Shanghai