Ministry of Health and the Environment and Bermuda Hospitals Board Launch First-ever Corporate Blood Drive

The Ministry of Health and the Environment and Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) announced today that the first-ever Corporate Blood Drive will begin this week on Valentine’s Day, 14 February. Designed to increase the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre’s current donor base, this event will be held annually to identify and commend companies and organizations for promoting and supporting blood donation among their staff, family members and friends.

Local businesses and international companies have been invited to participate in the first phase of the drive, beginning this Friday and running through World Blood Donor Day on 14 June. The company achieving the highest percentage of donations during this period will be publicly commended and will receive an engraved trophy. Going forward, each year on June 14, the corporation with the highest percentage of donations from the preceding year will be acknowledged.

The Hon. Minister of Health and the Environment, Trevor Moniz said: “The Blood Donor Centre belongs to each of us and it is everyone’s responsibility to make sure our community has a sufficient blood supply. For this reason, I am asking companies and organizations on our Island to participate in this initiative. We must expand the current donor base in order to maintain sustainability and reduce the pressure on those who do donate. Employees and their friends and family can make a difference in our community by saving and improving the lives of people who need blood. We are all stakeholders in the matter of giving blood – you never know when it might be you or a loved one who needs this life-saving gift.”

Dr. Clyde Wilson, BHB Chief of Pathology said: “Currently, only about 2% of Bermuda’s population, or approximately 1,100 people, are donors. In order for us to provide a ready supply of blood to the hospital, we would like to increase our donor pool to around 2000 people. Blood supplies are not imported and we depend solely on members of the public to meet the needs of our patients. While we are grateful to the hundreds of loyal donors already regularly giving blood, we need to increase our donor base in order to assure adequate supplies are always readily available. For this reason, we encourage local companies and organizations to take this opportunity to make a difference by participating in this drive and encouraging their staff members, relatives and friends to become donors.”

Bernell Williams, Actuarial Analyst, XL Re Bermuda, said: Bernell Williams, Actuarial Analyst, XL Group’s Bermuda Reinsurance Operations, said: “Many of my colleagues at XL expressed interest in supporting the Blood Donor Centre when I contacted them about the appeal for new donors. We actually donated in December, as we understood supplies were needed then. I’m really pleased to say that around 10% of my colleagues have already donated, with more committed to doing so in the next few weeks. For other companies, my advice is to make sure someone within your company champions the effort – it’s the direct, personal approaches to colleagues that make the difference. Make it easy – if people can just sign up to a particular time and car pool, they’re more likely to do it. And be supportive of employees who wish to be donors; I work for a company that is committed to the community and that mind-set made it easier.”

Blood donor clinics are held Monday to Friday between 8.30am to 3.00pm. Please call the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre at 236-5067 or email blood.donor@bhb.bm to schedule an appointment to donate. Make sure you indicate if you are donating as part of the Corporate Blood Drive and indicate on behalf of which company or organization you are donating.

Blood Donation
• Most healthy people between 18 and 70 who weigh a minimum of 110lbs can donate blood.
• Healthy blood is vital to us all. It has three major functions: to carry oxygen and nutrients to the body cells so they can create energy; to help defend the body against infections and injuries; and to remove waste products from the body cells.
• The average adult contains 10 to 12 pints of blood, which contains many substances including red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma.
• When you donate blood, one pint is taken which is then separated into different components.
• To ensure a donor is healthy enough to give blood, donors are asked to fill out a questionnaire and their blood pressure and haemoglobin is checked.
• The entire process, including pre-testing, donating and time for refreshments afterwards takes about half an hour.

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