San Pedro Red Cross Branch releases 2021 report
Thursday, December 9th, 2021
The Belize Red Cross, San Pedro Branch (BRCSPB) held five blood drives during 2021, collecting 156 pints of the vital liquid. One of the drives collected blood from recovered COVID-19 patients to provide anti-bodies to those recovering from the virus. This was one method administered before vaccines against the virus were made available.
The first blood drive of the year (dubbed emergency drive) took place on January 8th collecting 17 pints of blood for COVID-19 patients. The regular campaign began on February 27th, with 31 pints collected. On May 2nd, another 31 pints were donated, with the highest batch collected on August 28th, for a total of 42 pints that month. The last blood drive of the year was held on Saturday, November 27th collecting 35 pints.
BRCSPB’s representative Phillip Ramsey added that 231 persons donated blood this year. Unfortunately, 75 would-be donors did not qualify for one reason or another. Donors must be within the ages 18 to 65 and should not have pre-existing conditions/illness, allergies to medication, be pregnant or menstruating, no tattoos within one year, no medication taken the morning of the donation, no alcohol within 24 hours, have a good night sleep and before giving blood have a healthy meal.
Ramsey stated that the number of persons answering the call to donate blood has increased over the years. In 2019 a total of 74 persons donated, followed by 126 in 2020 and 231 in 2021. In 2022 Ramsey hopes to have at least 200 persons donate.
Requirements for an emergency blood drive
When an emergency blood drive is necessary, it depends on the availability of the blood bank personnel, generally on a Saturday or Sunday. Transportation for blood lab personnel must be provided (water taxi for arrival and one flight for return and remainder on the water taxi. Breakfast and lunch for all blood lab personnel must be provided, along with refreshments for all donors such as water, juices, and cookies. It must also be confirmed that at least 25 donors are committed to the emergency blood drive.
Information for blood request
When requesting blood for a patient, all information must be included to be considered and approved. Blood recipients must be at the medical facility, about to be admitted, or already admitted when submitting a request. Requests are accepted Monday-Friday, 8:30AM – 4PM only. The request must be for patients who have NOT yet received blood that needs to be replaced. According to BRCSPB, blood requests are for EMERGENCY purposes only (this does not include scheduled surgeries, pregnancies, etc.). At this time, Negative blood types are not available.
Anyone needing blood for an emergency is reminded to send information in the below format. Do not send pictures or other information not required.
Nature of Emergency:
Date/Time being admitted to medical facility:
Name(s) and cell phone number(s) of person(s) to replace the blood; one person per pint requested:
For any blood emergency send a text message to Ashty Dennison at telephone number 615-4300 or 614-9115. The next blood drive is tentatively scheduled for February 26, 2022. Organizers thank all donors, medical staff, volunteers, and businesses who supported and made all the blood drives possible during 2021.
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