Although the recent Cayman Thanksgiving blood drive successfully recruited several new donors, the Cayman Islands blood bank is still in need of more blood donors.
“At this time of year, there tends to be more accidents, and a lot of residents leave the island and are not available to donate blood,” Health Services Authority lab manager Judith Clarke said.
Last month’s blood drive brought in 18 new donors, but the blood bank is still especially short of A positive and O negative donors, and is always looking for donors of all blood types, as well.
“There is a constant need for blood as patients are always requiring blood for surgery and other medical conditions,” Ms. Clarke said.
The lab manager said that if the 18 new recruits continue to donate through the year, it could mean that the lab will be receiving at least another 54 units of blood per year. But she said that sometimes it is difficult to maintain regular donors.
“We are constantly being reminded that we are a transient society as donors are constantly leaving the island, hence the need for recruitment drives,” Ms. Clarke said.
In addition to the seasonal need, Ms. Clarke said new medical services on the island also puts stress on the blood bank.
“We cannot lose sight of the fact that the medical landscape changed with the opening of Health City,” Ms. Clarke said. “They are a cardiac institution requiring far more blood product than was required previously.”
It takes about five minutes to donate blood that could be life-saving for someone in need. Donors first complete a questionnaire and a mini-physical prior to the donation, and then are given a refreshment and asked to relax for a few minutes before they leave the department.
Blood donors must be at least 18 years old and should be in good health and practice a healthy lifestyle. Ms. Clarke said it is best for individuals to make an appointment, but walk-ins are always welcome.
Those wishing to make an appointment to donate blood can call 244-2669 or 244-2674.