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Health Officials Make Appeal For Blood Donations

By DANIELLE BARNES

OFFICIALS from the blood banks of Princess Margaret Hospital and Doctors Hospital as well as the Bahamas Red Cross Society, One Blood, Friends of the Blood Bank and Aliv have partnered to coordinate the second annual Unity Blood Drive.

The Unity Blood Drive was created to respond to the urgent need of blood supply at both hospitals with the goal of collecting over 250 units of blood.

Director of Transfusion Services Dr Duvaughn Curling said during yesterday’s press conference that blood donation remains critically low at the Princess Margaret Hospital.

“The registered request for blood largely outnumbers the percentage of blood donors to the hospital's blood bank,” he said.

In 2015, the total accepted donations to the blood bank were 3,954, while the requested donations were 12,487, and the requested components were 27,187.

Basil Christie, president of Friends of the Blood Bank, explained that one of the main reasons people don’t donate blood is because of inconvenience. The Unity Blood Drive works to bridge that gap by making the process more accessible to citizens.

“We are aware that many citizens want to give blood to save other lives, but it isn’t always convenient to come to the blood bank, either the Princess Margaret Hospital or Doctors Hospital.”

“What Friends of the Blood Bank has been doing over the last two years is creating blood drives in different offices, banks [and] organisations.”

The Unity Blood Drive will be held this Saturday, June 24, from 10am to 5pm at The Mall at Marathon.

Committee member of the Unity Blood Drive, Sharanda Logan encouraged all eligible Bahamians to come out and donate blood this weekend.

Ms Logan said that there are many misconceptions people have with giving blood.

“One of the things that hold people back is that they have myths in their mind and they feel as if they are not able to donate.”

The blood bank ensures that the public is not left to believe these false ideas by conducting special blood donor drives to educate the public about blood donations and encourage people to become blood donors.

Citizens ages 16 and up can be screened to give blood and may donate every eight weeks.

Mobile provider Aliv announced its partnership with Friends of the Blood Bank. They will have many giveaways this Saturday including an iPhone 7 and a Samsung S8. All blood donors are encouraged to participate in the raffle.

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