To ensure enough supply during emergency situations such as hurricanes, officials with Cayman’s Blood Bank and the National Hurricane Committee are urging residents to sign up as blood donors.
‘Having more persons enrolled would be helpful in the event that we are unable to import blood, if flights become unavailable during an emergency,’ the bank’s Quality Coordinator Judith Clarke explained in a press release. ‘It also means that we would call on individual donors less often.’
Located in the Cayman Islands Hospital, the blood bank is trying to keep blood supply at two times the normal volume in case it becomes difficult for donors to reach the bank during an emergency.
The bank’s stock during normal times is 30 to 40 units; these are renewed regularly, as donated blood shelf life is 35 days. The amount of the blood in the bank is evaluated daily by a medical technologist, who calls donors if more blood is needed.
According to bank’s estimations, the demand for blood has increased along with Cayman’s population. Ms Clarke is encouraging all eligible residents between the ages 18 and 30, who are in general good health, to consider donating blood.
‘It is very difficult to predict the need for blood in cases of emergency, but in the case of a catastrophic event we would rely heavily on the kindheartedness of blood donors to come in at odd hours and short notices,’ she said.
For more information of how to sign up as a blood donor, contact the Blood Bank at the Cayman Islands Hospital at 244-2674 or 244-2669.