Editorial for 15 June: Celebrate life by giving blood

Many people in the Cayman Islands have a chance to give a
special gift today – blood.

It’s World Blood Donor Day and the blood bank on the second
floor of Cayman Islands Hospital is looking for new donors.

There are a few people in the Cayman Islands who can’t give
blood – those who lived in the United Kingdom and other European countries between
1980 and 1996 for more than six months. It is feared that people in that group
could have been exposed to the human form of Mad Cow disease.

For the rest of us, it’s a relatively painless procedure
that could be the difference between someone’s life and death.

In the Cayman Islands, blood donors roll up their sleeves
without getting paid. According to the World Health Organization, which is
encouraging more voluntary blood donors to give worldwide, blood coming from
volunteers is safer as there are fewer blood-borne infections among these
donors as opposed to those who give blood for family members in emergencies or
who give blood for payment.

The benefits to giving blood far outweigh the short time you
will spend with your arm outstretched.

Donors receive a free mini-physical every time they give
blood as blood pressure is taken, iron levels are checked and the blood is
tested for any infectious diseases.

Donating blood is a safe process. Each donor’s blood is
collected through a new, sterile needle that is used once and then discarded.
And afterward you’ll be treated to a sweet – juice or a cookie.

Once you’ve donated blood the first time, make it a point to
become a regular donor; healthy adults can give blood every six to eight weeks.

If you don’t know if you are eligible to give blood, take a
trip to the blood bank and find out.

The need for blood is constant and your contribution is
important for a healthy and reliable blood supply.

And we believe you will feel good knowing you’ve possibly
helped save or change a life.

Contact the blood bank at 244-2674 or 244-2669 to become a
regular donor.


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