Sunday 9 August, 2020

Cayman made record breaking blood donations during COVID-lockdown

Manager at the Blood Bank and the Health Services Authority Pathology Laboratory, Ms Judith Clarke advises that blood donations that were made during the COVID-19 shelter in place period were "extraordinary" and surpassed the number of new donors that the Blood Bank recorded last year and in previous years.

A satellite location at the Cayman Islands Red Cross was opened in March by the Cayman Islands Blood Bank, with the support of 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.

Data from the Blood Bank shows that 69 units of blood were collected in March, 151 in April and 160 in May totalling the amount of 380 units. Also, there were 11 new donors in March, 87 in April and 96 in May totalling the amount of 194 new donors. Ms Clarke noted that these numbers are “extraordinary” and surpasses the number of new donors the Blood Bank has had around the same period last year and previous years.

Minister of Health Hon Dwayne Seymour stated, “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.”

The Cayman Islands Blood Bank announces 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.

The closure comes into effect on August 1.
“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. “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, July 31 from 10am – 3pm.

The Blood Bank thanks all donors and community partners for their valuable contributions and their dedication to ensuring the Cayman maintains an adequate and safe blood supply in order to save hundreds of lives every year. The other partners include: Rotaract Blue, Fosters, Cayman Spirit and Radio Cayman.

Donations can still be made Monday – Friday from 7am-6:30pm, and Saturdays from 9am to 5:30pm at the Cayman Islands Hospital. Persons who have not donated before with the Blood Bank can take a brief eligibility test on its website before requesting an appointment.

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