In observance of World Blood Donor Day, which is being celebrated today, the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) Laboratory Blood Bank in collaboration with Jolly’s Pharmacy and Red Cross Club 25 is conducting a Blood Donor Drive.
Dominicans are being encouraged to support the drive at the Prevost Cinemall in Roseau.
“It’s indeed a wonderful day for us, it is our third episode of what we call Give Life, Give Blood Day and we all know blood is very essential to the human body,” Head of Public Health and Public Relations at Jolly’s Pharmacy, Carlton Lanquedoc told the media during an interview on Thursday. “And so we as a company, the Jolly’s Pharmacy, we see the essential need to really sensitize the public on the importance of donating blood. Without blood, we have no life and so we know that in crisis, in emergency cases blood becomes supplementary life to people. It is a time when they can get a second opportunity to be alive.”
Lanquedoc added, “See it as your humanitarian gift to your brother man, see it as you extending the life of a baby who is in a crisis or a mother who has just given birth and is in a crisis or somebody with cancer having to do a blood transfusion.”
According to him, the drive is truly a great initiative and it is one that Jolly’s Pharmacy will consistently and continuously support, “because none of us know when the need will come when we ourselves may need the extension of life through blood.”
He noted that the goal is to try collecting at least 20 pints of blood from 20 people, one pint per person.
“Basically what we try to do is collect at least 20 pints of blood, because blood basically has a 90-day span in which it can survive once it’s preserved properly,” Lanquedoc revealed. “We don’t want to have too much and then afterward has to be dumped, so we normally try to achieve at least 20 pints of blood that is one pint per person so we are looking at 20 people to donate.”
He stated further that the blood has to be screened after it is collected to ensure that it is disease free before it can be used on any individual.
Meantime, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Dominica Red Cross- Club 25, Phael Lander said the Dominica Red Cross primary responsibility is blood donor recruitment.
“In the event there is a need for blood donors at the hospital, they contact us,” he said. “It is our responsibility as volunteers to then get persons out there to come in and let them know that it is ok to donate blood.”
He encourages the public to visit the Prevost Cinemall to donate blood and to learn about the entire blood donor recruitment process.
Lander went on to say that the Dominica Red Cross is very happy even after Hurricane Maria that they got the time here to organize drive outside of the blood bank where it has been held for the past years.
He said also that people are being taught about the technology that is used.
“What is the process, what is the information that is required, what is the information that is given,” Lander explained. “All this is important to us at the Red Cross so that we can educate people and let them understand that you need to come here and give us some blood.”