Fifty-two pints of blood – the most ever collected on island in a single day – has been recorded in Cayman’s first mobile blood drive.
The Health Services Authority along with Car City and Hurley’s Media hosted the blood drive on March 10, which saw 63 attendees register to be blood donors. Of those, 40 were first-time donors.
“This wasn’t your average blood drive,” said Taylor Foster of Car City, who initiated the partnership that led to the blood drive. He said the blood bank has held dozens of drives, but it has never before gone mobile, collecting blood on-site.
“Car City is extremely proud to be among the drivers of such a groundbreaking event. Its turnout demonstrated the philanthropic capacity of the people of these islands, all while doing something very important – stocking our national blood bank with the product it needs and one that is used to save lives,” he said.
Operating out of the Health Services Authority, the Cayman Islands Blood Bank relies on an average collection rate of four pints of blood each day to meet the current healthcare needs of the islands’ medical facilities, but this need is expected to increase. Some of this total is imported from the U.S., when the blood bank is experiencing a deficit due to periodic increase in demand or a lack of local donations, according to the Blood Bank.
HSA Laboratory Manager Judith Clarke said, in regards to blood supply, the population of the Cayman Islands can sustain itself. However, she said, only two percent of the population donates, and ideally the islands need to achieve five percent, according to World Health Organization recommendations.
“The hesitation to donate is higher among millennials than any other generational group. This signals to us that greater awareness and promotion is paramount to changing the views this particular group and others have about blood donation,” she said. “Therefore, we are very grateful to Car City Cayman for spearheading this amazing initiative. Their support and partnership with Hurley’s Media allowed us to increase awareness in the community of the importance of blood donation.”
Eric Vincent of Hurley’s Media praised the private-public partnership initiative as one that must continue. “The need for blood is constant and everyone who resides on these islands, at some point in their lifetime, will know someone in need of a transfusion,” he said. “Victims of accidents, people struck by illnesses, patients experiencing medical complications are examples of those who may need blood.”
Car City offered a complimentary oil change on all Car City brand vehicles at the event in appreciation of the community’s support. Al La Kebab provided food and a bouncing castle to keep children entertained.
“I want to thank everyone who came out to support the first Car City annual blood drive,” Mr. Foster said. “We plan to further develop our partnership with the Blood Bank by helping to identify innovative ways to increase our islands’ blood supply. We hope to see you next year.”
For more information on how to become a donor, visit https://bloodbank.ky.