There is currently a high demand for all blood types at the Ministry of Public Health’s Blood Bank – the National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS). This state of affairs was earlier today announced by the Ministry which noted that because of the high demand the Blood Bank is facing a severe shortage.
At this time of the year, the demand for blood is usually high.
Despite faced with this daunting situation, the goal of the NBTS is for all of the blood supplied in Guyana to be collected from voluntary, healthy donors. “The unit of blood you donate is screened and delivered through a network of Blood Banks countrywide and used as needed,” the Ministry informed even as it added, “Every day, pregnant women, children, youths, adults and the elderly need blood in both our public and private hospitals.”
Those eligible to become voluntary donors are persons 17 years or older, in generally good health, free from any blood borne disease, and weigh at least 110 pounds.
The donation process is very simple and requires: the registration of donor, a mini health check comprising of: the donor’s body weight, pulse, blood pressure, temperature and HB (Iron) level. The donor’s blood type will also be identified at this stage. Also through a brief interview, which is private and confidential, the donor’s sexual lifestyle will be determined thus ascertaining whether their medical history would permit them to donate blood.
The actual blood donation stage is characterized by a single unit (less than a pint) of blood being taken from the donor. Once the process is completed the donor is provided with a refreshment to help restore this blood level.
The entire blood donation process takes 20 minutes and a person, who fits the criteria, can donate blood every two months.
Blood donation allows the body to produce new red blood cells which carries oxygen around the body. Once these new cells are replicated, it allows the individual to feel more rejuvenated and healthier. Blood cannot be stored for long periods. One unit can be processed into three component parts each of which has the potential of saving a life when used to treat separate medical conditions.
“We appeal to all our voluntary donors and new donors to visit the NBTS, our blood donation facilities at New Amsterdam, West Demerara, Suddie and Linden hospitals or one of our mobile units and “give a pint!” the Public Health Ministry urges.
NBTS Director, Dr. Pedro Lewis, in his appeal for blood said that answering the call for blood by extension means supporting the NBTS as it work towards its goal of 100 percent voluntary donation in 2019.
The NBTS, located at East and Lamaha street (Georgetown Public Hospital Compound) is opened to the public between the hours of 08:00 to 18:00 hrs from Monday to Friday and on Saturdays from 9:00hrs to 15:00hrs.
For further information persons can call: 223 7182, 225 4972, 669 8776 OR 644 9590.