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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Currently, no blood collection facility is open on weekends anywhere in the island.
  • With the impending opening of the new Caribbean Cardiac Centre at the Bustamante Hospital for Children there will be an increase in demand for blood and blood components.
  • Executive Director of the NBTS, Dr. Angela Scott, said she is hopeful that this thrust will garner the support of the Jamaican people.

The Kiwanis Blood Collection Centre at the National Chest Hospital, in Kingston, will resume opening on Saturdays, as of February 8, to facilitate blood collection on weekends.

Blood Donor Organiser at the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), Igol Allen, told JIS News that currently, no blood collection facility is open on weekends anywhere in the island.

“The centre will be open initially on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and this is expected to boost blood collection by up to 100 units per week, resulting in an additional two to three thousand units for the year,” he said.

“From our surveys we found that more persons have time to donate on a Saturday. We invite them to take advantage of the new Saturday opening hours, as we seek to fulfill our mandate of providing 60,000 units of blood per year,” Mr. Allen added.

He explained that with the impending opening of the new Caribbean Cardiac Centre at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, where more surgeries will take place, there will be an increase in demand for blood and blood components.

“Most surgical procedures require that there be blood and blood components on hand and the Caribbean Cardiac Centre is an additional facility that will be depending on the NBTS to provide the substance, which has no substitute,” Mr. Allen noted. The centre is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

Mr. Allen said that persons who undergo renal dialysis also require blood transfusion during the process and this is a daily occurrence.

Executive Director of the NBTS, Dr. Angela Scott, said she is hopeful that this thrust, with the help of media partners, will garner the support of the Jamaican people.

“We need everyone on board to ensure an adequate supply of blood and blood components,” she told JIS News.