The Cayman Islands Blood Bank is advising the public that it will remain open for donations and is encouraging members of the public who are eligible to continue to donate blood.
While some healthcare services have been cancelled or reduced to minimise potential transmission of COVID-19, the blood bank remains fully operational at the Cayman Islands Hospital.
“Blood donation is still necessary to ensure we have adequate supply on island for any medical emergencies requiring lifesaving blood transfusion. We are appealing to eligible donors of all blood types to make donations, in particular those who are O Negative. We also want to ensure the public that it is safe to donate blood as COVID-19 is not a blood borne illness,” said Blood Bank Manager Judith Clarke.
“The Blood Bank, which operates out of the Health Services Authority’s JCI Accredited lab, follows the highest standards to ensure donors can give blood in a safe and controlled environment,” she added.
She said the Blood Bank team often conducts blood drives on-site at businesses within the community, but as many businesses are operating remotely, the Blood Bank is missing an opportunity to host these blood drives.
“Some states in the US are also starting to see shortages of blood supplies, so for these reasons we encourage all eligible donors to continue donating during this time,” she added.
The Blood Bank pointed out that one blood donation can help save up to three lives. Men can donate every three months and women every four months.
The Cayman Islands Hospital has heightened measures for people entering the facility, and blood donors should use the entrance to the left of accident and emergency where a member of security will provide escort to the blood bank. Parking is available in the designated Blood Donor spots outside A&E or in the Seventh Day Adventist Church parking lot.
To find out if you are eligible to donate or to book an appointment to donate blood, call 244-2674. Opening hours are Monday – Friday 7am – 6:30pm and Saturday 9am – 5pm.