Blood Donors Join Together To Encourage People To Give The Gift Of Life

Almost 150 blood donors came together for group photograph to encourage others to join them in giving the gift of life for World Blood Donor Day, which is celebrated Monday 14 June 2010.

Only about 3% of people in Bermuda donate blood. This is about half that found in other developed countries, where about 6% of the country donate blood.

“Our existing donors are wonderful and we rely on them donating regularly due to the small percentage of the population currently donating,” explains Dr Betsie Lombard, Director of Blood Transfusion Services.

“More people should join us,” she adds. “The donation process only takes about half an hour and there is dedicated parking just for blood donors as we recognize that many of them take time out of their busy work lives.”

Only a small percentage of donated blood goes to trauma victims, such as road traffic accident or victims of violence. Most blood donated helps people who undergo surgery, or who need blood for therapeutic reasons, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy or people with sickle cell anaemia.

“People don’t always realize that blood donors not only save lives, but improve the quality of life for many people with painful and debilitating conditions,” Dr Lombard says. “And many of our blood donors overcome needle phobias to donate. We use trained blood donor nurses and technicians to ensure maximum comfort and safety.”

About 40 to 50 units of blood are needed in Bermuda every week to manage therapeutic uses, planned surgery and trauma. Without blood donations, no elective or emergency surgery could take place on island, and people needing therapeutic blood donations would have to travel for treatments.

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