Can I donate blood during fasting?

Muscat: Can I donate blood during fasting is the most common question asked by the believers who wish to donate blood during the holy month of Ramadhan.

Yes a believer can donate blood even if he is fasting during the day or after breaking the fast in the evening. Donating blood will not nullify his fast. However, he is at liberty to stop fasting when he is confronted with a situation where donating blood is necessitated to save a life, according to the Assistant Grand Mufti of the Sultanate of Oman.

It is advisable, however, that he donates blood after breaking fast at the Central Blood Bank in Bausher and help support the national cause of blood donation.

“One can donate blood during his fast or after iftar and either of this will not nullify his fast. However, he is advised to donate after Iftar as the process would require him drink water. Nonetheless, he can either break his fast or continue and donate blood to a needy person if the situation warrants him so,” said Dr Kahlan al Kharusi, Assistant Grand Mufti of the Sultanate of Oman.

He said this rule is equally applicable to people undergoing ‘hijama’ for some ailments.

“Those who are undergoing hijama can do so and it doesn’t break their fast. Having said, it’s strongly recommended that the treatment be taken after Iftar,” adds Shaikh Kahlan.

Blood transfusion, on the other hand, can invalidate the fast as an alien thing is entering the body revitalising himself and hence, the patient has to compensate for the day’s fast later on.

Quoting the fatwa issued by various religious pundits, he said donating blood has been a great matter of confusion among many believers who were weary of donating blood in the holy month of Ramadhan.

“Actually, donating blood is a great deed as far as a believer is concerned. He or she is taking part in a noble cause in the auspicious month.”

With the Covid-19 standstill and subsequent arrival of the holy month, the blood reserve at the Bausher Blood Bank, the central blood bank of the country, has been shrinking and it is encouraged both for citizens and residents to come forward to donate blood.

“We would like to intensify our call for blood donation to reinforce the existing stock of blood to meet emergencies and needs from various healthcare facilities in the country. This is especially important in the present circumstances where the number of donors has gone substantially low,” a source at the Blood Services Department said.

One can visit the Centre between 7.30pm and 11.30pm to donate blood and be a part of the national campaign of blood donation.

“On the other hand, a non-Muslim, who doesn’t apparently fast can visit the Bold Bank from morning to donate blood,” the official added.

The Central Blood Bank is encouraging those who don’t fast to visit the Center during the working hours which is, from 8am till 1pm and from 7.30pm to 11.30pm with an exception on Friday when the Bank is open in the evenings.

Last year, in order to encourage the habit of blood donation, the Central Blood Bank had organised two vehicles to visit residential areas near prominent masjids and collect blood from the potential donors after iftar.

The need for platelets too, the tiny blood cells that help human body form clots to stop bleeding, in various hospitals has risen and the and the Bausher Blood Bank is receiving several requests for the same.