Summer Blood Drive Encourages Young People to Become Blood Donors

The Bermuda Blood Donor Centre is launching a Summer Blood Drive beginning 10 June and running through 30 August. While the need for donors remains constant throughout the year, it is hoped college students returning home for the summer, as well as other young adults, will consider becoming donors. Anyone donating blood during the blood drive will be entered into a draw to win one of two cell phones, kindly donated by Digicel Bermuda Limited.

Currently, less than 2% of Bermuda’s eligible population, or about 1100 people, are donors. The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that in developed countries like Bermuda, about 6% of the population donates. WHO also reports that in many jurisdictions, 30% of donors are under the age of twenty-five. In Bermuda, less than 4% of our donors are under twenty-five.

Dr Eyitayo Fakunle, BHB Medical Director of the Blood Transfusion Service, said: “We would really like to encourage younger people to consider becoming donors this year. As our current pool of donors grows older, we must recruit members of the younger generation to replace them. While we are grateful for everyone in our community who chooses to donate blood, we would love to see people in their 20s and 30s become donors. In an effort to reach this particular group, we are most grateful to five young Bermudian athletes who have agreed to be advocates for blood donation. Paralympian Jessica Lewis, WBA Middleweight Champion Teresa Perozzi, Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association’s number one seed, Gavin Manders, Bermuda 800m record holder Aaron Evans and PGA Member Michael Sims are all local role models who are featured in posters being widely distributed this month.”

Wayne Caines, Digicel Bermuda CEO, said: “Digicel Bermuda is humbled to support such a worthy cause,” stated. “If we can assist the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre with recruiting even a handful of young donors, then we know that we have contributed to saving lives. Our very own staff members have volunteered to become blood donors as a result of this drive. We commend them and everyone who gives of themselves to save others.”

The Bermuda Blood Donor Centre is responsible for providing a ready supply of life-saving blood to the hospital, which uses about 35 to 45 pints of blood each week. Donated blood is used for cancer patients, mothers and babies, accident victims, surgical patients and other people with anemia.

Dr. Fakunle adds: “We need 40 to 50 people every week to meet the needs of our patients. Our message to Bermuda is simple: ‘Give the gift of life- donate blood.’ Our aim is to make blood available whenever doctors request it in the hospital. Blood donors are true heroes – they give selflessly to save and improve the lives of people in our community who need blood. We believe that there are many more people in Bermuda willing to become donors, especially when they realize it could be their family member or even they themselves, whose life needs saving. Donating blood is a simple, painless way to support our community and only takes about half an hour. But the satisfaction of knowing that you have made a vital difference in the life of someone who is sick or injured can last a lifetime.”

Contact the Blood Donor Centre at 236-5067 or email blood.donor@bhb.bm to learn about becoming a blood donor. Give the gift of life- donate blood.

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 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 your body will easily replenish within 24 hours. The blood 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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