BHB Celebrates Bermuda Blood Donor Heroes

Bermuda Hospitals Board today celebrates its Bermuda Blood Donor Heroes with the launch of a short YouTube video and poster campaign, as part of the lead up to World Blood Donor Day on Thursday 14 May 2012.

The video was filmed and edited by NF Films and includes the images of real donors: Kotoni Simmons, Daniel Burgess, Jenny Palmer, Ernest Mc Creight, Tara Soares and Gil Correia. The voices that tell real stories about blood recipients are provided by Lindsay Fisher, Lanel Cameron, Lee Holder, David Darrell and Jacqueline Simons. The video can be found on YouTube by searching for Be a Bermuda Blood Donor or at the Betsie Blood-Drop Facebook site or the hospital website at

“We are so excited to celebrate our blood donor heroes and hope more people will join them when they realise how easy but vital it is to donate blood,” notes Venetta Symonds, CEO, Bermuda Hospitals Board. “Even if people can’t give blood themselves, we ask them to share our video in an effort to encourage more people to donate – the people in the video are active blood donors and the stories included are real stories that have taken place in Bermuda. The need is great and, at this time, the donors are unfortunately few. We hope the video reminds our community that donors are everyday people – such as post office workers, firemen, receptionists, executives, photographers. They may be a stranger to you, but when you need blood, they are the heroes who save lives by giving up 30 minutes of their time and one pint of their blood every three to six months.”

Dr Eyitayo Fakunle, BHB Medical Director of the Blood Transfusion Service, adds: “Our message to Bermuda is simple: ‘Be a hero. Donate blood.’ Our aim is to make blood available whenever doctors request it in the hospital. Only 2% of the Bermuda population make this a reality. Our blood donors are true heroes – they may be few, but 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 who would be willing to become heroes too, especially when they realize it could be their family member or even they themselves, whose life needs saving.”

Sue de Verteuil, Pathology Nurse at the Blood Donor Centre, comments: “We are really excited to be launching this short video. Blood donors save lives every day: cancer patients, mothers and babies, accident victims, surgical patients. We truly hope it inspires more people to join our existing heroes. We need 40 to 50 people every week to keep our blood supplies at the level required to meet patients’ needs. We spend many hours every week calling and sending emails to donors trying to ensure we have enough people donating to sustain our blood bank. As only about 1,100 people in Bermuda donate blood regularly, we want to celebrate those amazing heroes, many of whom have donated for many years, and call out for help from the heroes-in-waiting who have yet to become donors.”

Notes to Editors:
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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