New Equipment Makes Platelet Donation Possible in Under an Hour

Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is pleased to announce the Red Cross Donor Centre now has a new platelet collection machine that reduces the amount of time it takes to donate from two hours or more to less than one hour.

Staff training on the new machine took place at the end of November and the first donor used the machine on November 30th. The machine collects platelets and red cells needed by patients for a variety of reasons that include chemotherapy, surgery or anaemia. The $80,000 piece of equipment was jointly purchased by the Bermuda Red Cross and BHB.

Dr. Betsie Lombard, medical director of the blood transfusion service and consultant haematologist, comments, “This machine drastically reduces the amount of time it takes to donate platelets and red cells. It means people can now donate over their lunch hour. We need two platelet collections a week to cope with demand, so regular collections and a pool of donors are essential. The experience for donors is vastly improved and the quality of platelets from the machine is extremely high, benefiting patients across the hospital.”

Normal blood donation criteria apply for platelet and red cell donors. Anyone interested in donating platelets, red cells or blood, should contact Fiona Barber at the Red Cross Donor Centre at 236-5067.

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