To mark World Blood Donor Day on Wednesday, Health Minister Dwayne Seymour reminds Cayman Islands residents and visitors about the importance of giving blood.
“It is up to all of us to make sure that the blood bank located at the Health Services Authority has a constant and plentiful supply of blood,” Mr. Seymour said in a press release.
The Health Services Authority has set a goal of reaching 500 new donors this year; to date 375 have registered. At the end of 2016, the HSA reported that it had about 1,000 registered donors.
Medical technologist Greg Honeyghan said even though the HSA routinely stocks all eight blood types, it particularly wants to encourage people whose blood type is O Positive, O Negative, A Positive and B Negative to donate, as these blood types are either used very regularly or they do not have sufficient donors of the blood type in the donor registry.
The minimum eligible requirements for blood donation are that the donor must weigh at least 110 pounds, be healthy on donation day, be able to climb in the donor chair and be at least 18 years of age, or 17 if parents write a consent letter.
Donors on the day are required to have eaten a regular meal, and to drink at least five glasses of water at a minimum of 30 minutes before donating, and to have had plenty of rest the night before.
“It cannot be taken for granted that there will always be blood available if you, or a loved one, need it for routine surgery or an emergency,” Mr. Seymour said. “… It is up to all of us to make sure that the blood bank located at the Health Services Authority has a constant and plentiful supply of blood.”
He noted that a “very successful blood drive was held on Tuesday at the Government Administration Building, and he hopes that other public and private sector workplaces will hold similar registration drives for their employees.”
“As we observe this year’s World Blood Donor Day, please consider registering to give blood. It is a small and easy step to take, but an enormous help to our community,” he said.
The blood bank is at the Cayman Islands Hospital on the second floor in front of the Paediatric Department. It is open Mondays to Fridays from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Donors can sign up on the website www.bloodbank.ky or call to make an appointment on 244-2674. Visit the Facebook page for Cayman Islands Blood Bank for more information.