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SVG Blood Bank in need of Blood

SVG Blood Bank in need of Blood

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As St. Vincent and the Grenadines joined in celebrations of World Blood Donor Day, local blood reserves are in dire need of voluntary donors.{{more}}

On Tuesday, June 14, the SVG Blood Bank set up temporary residence in Heritage Square to hand out informative pamphlets and provide advice for those considering blood donation.

Celebrating this year under the theme “More blood; more life”, the blood bank’s main objective was to make people more aware of the urgent need for donors.

“The more you donate… the more lives that will be saved,” said Dalrie Cole, Blood Bank supervisor.

Cole, who is also a medical technologist, revealed that last year, only 1,200 blood requests were able to be fulfilled by the Blood Bank – even though they received approximately 5,300 requests.

“Think about the lives you will be saving. Think about the babies… the mere thought of saving a baby’s life should encourage you enough to donate blood regularly,” appealed Cole.

“Right now, the blood bank needs all blood types.”

She also said that this year the Blood Bank will be honouring its twelve most regular blood donors.

In an attempt to assuage any anxiety members of the public might have about becoming donors, Cole explained that the procedure is a relatively simple one, with very little pain.

“Just come down. The staff are well trained. They are there to encourage; to counsel you and to make you more comfortable.”

She also said that a mini physical examination and medical history interview is required, beforehand, to assess the potential donor’s suitability. This also includes a test of blood drawn from a finger prick to check the haematocrit level.

“It has to be at a certain level for you to donate,” she explained.

Once the individual has been approved, a pint of his/her blood is drawn then sent for screening at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital’s laboratory – through which the Blood Bank operates.

The blood is then checked for hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS, human T-lymphocyte virus, and syphillis.

If the screening comes back positive for any of the above conditions, the individual will be referred to the HIV/AIDS Unit or a registered nurse for advice on treatment and counselling.

But once the screening comes back clear, the blood is securely stored at the Blood Bank for future use.

The Blood Bank opens Monday – Friday from 8:30 am until 3 pm. On Saturdays, it opens from 9 until 11 am.

Sponsors of the event on Tuesday were Jax Enterprises, Subway, Church’s Chicken/Mario’s Pizza, and the National Lotteries Authority.(JV)

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