Dominicans Urged to Donate Blood Willingly
Residents are being urged to donate blood willingly as there is an ever growing need for it.
The Princess Margaret Hospital Blood Bank’s Supervisor, Nineke Pierre, made the plea in an exclusive interview with SAT TV on Tuesday May 20th 2014.
She explained that the process by giving blood is one of the best things one can do, which is very simple and safe, with a duration of between 5 and 10 minutes.
“You come in and get screened to make sure it’s safe for you to give blood, we check your blood pressure, your weight, temperature, hemoglobin level and blood group followed by a questionnaire to make sure it’s safe for you as we must ask you about your medical history,” Pierre explained.
This is vital she said as the donor’s safety is also very important, in addition to making sure the blood is safe for use.
After the blood is retrieved from the donor, further tests are conducted on the blood product.
She made it very clear that, one cannot contract HIV or Hepatitis when giving blood, so the public must remove such a notion from their mind.
“The people giving blood not only care for their family and friends, but for those they don’t know, as the blood donated is used on need and urgency,” she explained.
The blood is also fractionated into several components; red cells, platelets, fresh frozen plasma, which makes it possible from one unit of blood to serve three individuals.
The platelets survive for five days, hence the reason for the constant demand for it, while the red cells survive 35 days and plasma survive for one year.
According to Pierre, “The whole idea is not to wait for when there is a crisis and or accident, but to always have blood available in the Bank which is tested.”
She noted, the best time to obtain safe blood is when there isn’t any pressure on the donors.
Persons wishing to donate can come to the blood bank at the PMH at any time or call 266-2144 or 266-2118 for more information.
Brenton Hiliare, who donated blood to a stranger in need said he will do so any time once he is available, since his blood type is O negative and can be used for any one.
“It is a bit mind boggling that I have a rare blood type and can be called in to donate at any time, but I was assured that I can only donate every three months, so I don’t think it will be too taxing on my body,” Hiliare stated.
He said, he was scared the first time he donated blood, but the second time was much more relaxing and easy and any one can do the same.
Medical Technologist at the Blood Bank Melvin Challenger noted, the screening process is very simple but important to determine if one is suitable for donating blood.
The Blood Bank is open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 11:00 am.