Blood Bank to close its Red Cross temporary centre

Operations moved back to hospital

The Cayman Islands Blood Bank announced Monday that it will resume full operations at the Cayman Islands Hospital as it closes its temporary off-site location at the Cayman Islands Red Cross building on Huldah Avenue on 1 Aug.

“We understand that it is hurricane season and the Red Cross will need to make necessary preparations if the building is to be used as a hurricane shelter,” said Judith Clarke, manager at the Blood Bank and the Health Services Authority Pathology Laboratory, in a press release.

She added, “We are very grateful to them for being so generous and accommodating by providing us with the space we needed at a most critical time during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also thank all of our community partners that have made this initiative possible.”

To wrap up the Blood Bank’s final week at the Red Cross building, a special blood drive from Island Heritage will be held on Friday, 31 July, from 10am to 3pm.

The blood bank opened the satellite location at the Red Cross headquarters in March, with the support of its community partners Car City, Generali Worldwide, Rotary Central and Hurley’s Media, to bolster donations during COVID-19 restrictions.

Since then, it has logged record numbers of blood units collected and new donor volunteers, the blood bank reported.

According to data from the Blood Bank, 69 units of blood were collected in March; 151 in April; and 160 in May, totalling 380 units.

In March, 11 new donors signed up; 87 in April; and 96 in May, meaning the blood bank now has 194 new donors.

Clarke described these numbers as “extraordinary”, surpassing the number of new donors the blood bank has had around the same period last year and previous years.

Minister of Health Dwayne Seymour said in the release, “I want to commend those who have taken the time to contribute to these numbers. Your action is a true example of what it means to be Caymankind.”

“I am also pleased to see the work that has gone into opening this satellite location,” he added. “It is community partnerships like this between the public and private sector that is key to Cayman’s success, especially during times like these. Keeping up our national blood supply is critical during this time, so I encourage those who are eligible to donate to do so as this is another way to help save lives in the community.”

Meanwhile, people can continue to donate blood Monday to Friday, from 7am to 6:30pm, and Saturdays from 9am to 5:30pm at the Cayman Islands Hospital.

Those who have not donated to the Blood Bank before can take a brief eligibility test on its website before requesting an appointment.

For more information and to book an appointment, visit www.bloodbank.ky or call 244-2674.

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