New lab equipment for Cayman Islands Hospital

The Caring for Life charitable foundation donated a machine to the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town that prevents blood from clotting. 

The machine, worth about $3,000 and called a platelet agitator, works by constantly agitating or gently shaking units of blood to prevent the blood platelets from clotting until the blood is needed by a patient. 

Laboratory manager Judith Clarke said that the hospital’s old platelet agitator had become outdated and the new machine was a marked upgrade. 

“We had an old one and what has happened is normally they used what we call random platelets. A unit of platelets would be made from each bag of blood.  

They’re no longer doing that because you run the risk of sensitising the patient, the more platelets you give them. Now they’re using apheresis units and they’re bigger than the machine we had before.  

This [new machine] will take both random and apheresis,” Ms Clarke said. 

The machine helps ensure that blood is ready to be transfused into people on chemotherapy, pregnant women, patients with haemorrhagic disorders or those with low platelet counts. 

The donation is the first in a series of gifts of medical equipment that the Caring for Life Foundation is giving to the hospital. 

The foundation is a community-driven charity that raises funds for needed equipment and supplies to ensure that the healthcare system can respond effectively when needed. 

“We want to encourage the local community to keep giving,” said Wil Pineau, board adviser and secretary of the Caring for Life Foundation. “Everything we get from the public and the community and businesses goes right back into these types of pieces of equipment for the HSA.” 

Lizzette Year, chief executive officer of the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority, thanked the foundation and said it was the start of a “lot of good work that is to come and we really appreciate this and I think this will be a huge benefit to the community and all of our patients”. 

The donation is the first in a series of gifts of medical equipment that the Caring for Life Foundation is giving to the hospital. 

Caring-for-Life-blood

Caring for Life Foundation members, from left, Kim Remizowski, Wil Pineau, Chi Chi Foster and Sarah Hobbs were on hand for the donation of the platelet agitator to HSA laboratory manager Judith Clarke, CEO of the HSA Lizzette Yearwood and HSA Chief Medical Officer Delroy Jefferson. – PHOTO: NORMA CONNOLLY

Judith Clarke blood machine

Health Services Authority Laboratory Manager Judith Clarke demonstrates how the new platelet agitator, donated by the Caring for Life Foundation, works. – PHOTO: NORMA CONNOLLY

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