JIS News

Director of the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), Blood Bank, Dr. Evadne Williams, is appealing for voluntary donations to shore up the nation’s blood supply.
In an interview with JIS News, Dr Williams explained that during the holiday season, the demand for blood becomes especially high, due in part to the increased occurrence of traffic accidents.
“We know that accidents happen and we want to be able to make sure we have adequate blood regardless of what happens,” she stated.
While an estimated 50,000 units of blood is needed to cover the annual demand of blood, over the years, Jamaica has been experiencing a consistent shortage. The country’s annual collection is said to average 22,000 to 25,000 units. In 2008, 26, 300 units were collected with only 30% from voluntary donors.
Dr. Williams noted that the NBTS is working to meet its annual target of 50, 000 units, and encouraged persons to become voluntary donors and play their part in achieving the target.
“We are open and we welcome anyone to just walk in to any of our blood collections centres, whether here at the central blood bank, National Chest or any of our other collection centres across the island. We welcome all donors,” she stated.
She emphasized that that giving blood is a quick and pain-free process.
“The total process, from registration through to being bled and the resting phase, should take about 45 minutes because, after persons have donated blood, we would like them to rest for about 15 minutes before we allow them to leave the blood bank,” she explained.
The Blood Bank recently received a shipment of over 8,000 blood bags, which had been delayed in November. The bags are expected to last for the next three months. The next shipment should be delivered by mid-February, 2010.
All Public hospitals across the island are blood collection centres.

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