Blood Bank urges more donors
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Dr  Pedro Lewis, Director of the National Blood Transfusion Service
Dr Pedro Lewis, Director of the National Blood Transfusion Service

DUE to the coronavirus pandemic, the National Blood Bank is urging citizens of Guyana to donate more blood.
In a telephone interview with the Guyana Chronicle, Director of the National Blood Bank Dr Pedro Lewis noted that the blood bank is running low of all types of blood.
Dr Pedro outlined that due to the pandemic, most blood donors are not going to the blood bank to donate blood and as a result, the blood drive is at a standstill. “We are hoping that persons will start to calling, we are checking in with some organisations to start seeking external collections, the first two months January and February were good but after the pandemic, production has decreased.” Dr Pedro told Chronicle.

Dr Pedro explained that because of the blood bank’s production shortfall, they are now forced to go out into the outlying regions to do blood collection. The frontal issue, Dr Pedro noted, is that the hospital needs to have blood on standby in cases of emergency and urgent attention , when blood is required by a patient .
At the moment, the blood bank is receiving about 30% of blood supply to deal with its capacity. By year’s end, the blood bank should be in receipt of about 70 – 75 % of blood for patients in its care. He further explained that the blood bank would need even more blood to cushion the effects of more persons requiring surgeries and other medical attention. The goal of the NBTS is for all 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 blood banks countrywide and used as needed.  Every day, pregnant women, children, youths, adults and the elderly need blood in both our public and private hospitals.
If you are 17 years or older, in generally good health, free from any blood-borne disease and weigh at least 110 pounds, you can become a Voluntary Blood Donor. The donation process is very simple and requires the following steps:

Registration of donor
Mini health checks comprising : your body weight, pulse, blood pressure, temperature and HB (Iron) level. The donor’s blood type will also be identified at this stage.
A brief interview to determine if your sexual lifestyle and medical history permits you to donate blood. This session is very private and confidential. The actual blood donation stage where a unit (less than a pint) of blood will be taken.

Refreshments
The entire blood donation process takes 20 minutes. 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 NBTS, located at East and Lamaha streets, (Georgetown Public Hospital Compound) opening hours are 08:00hrs to 18:00hrs from Monday to Friday and on Saturdays, 9:00hrs- 15:00hrs. For further enquire please call:  223 7182, 225 4972, 669 8776 OR 644 9590.

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