The Importance of blood drives
Saturday, August 17th, 2019
Blood drives are held by the Belize Red Cross every three months around the country via its local branches to collect the vital liquid and have it available for any emergencies at the blood bank in Belize City. A pint of blood can save up to three lives when a transfusion is imperative, and additional blood may be needed after surgery. On Ambergris Caye, the local chapter of the Red Cross is very active throughout the year, but in recent drives, they have observed a decline in the collection of blood, leading to the depletion of the current reserves.
The blood collected from San Pedro and stored at the blood bank in Belize City is available for anyone who may need it in case of an emergency. Thus, it is important to support the blood drives organized in the community. According to the Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch on Ambergris Caye, they hope for a larger commitment from the community. With a population around 20,000, they believe the island could do better in blood collection. Over recent years, the number of pints collected has drastically decreased.
Ashty Dennison of the local Red Cross branch shared with The San Pedro Sun that they have been receiving several requests for blood, but their reserves are out. The issue seems to be happening countrywide, and whenever a patient needs blood, his or her family is required to find donors. Dennison said that whenever there is no blood at the reserves, the Red Cross can still assist by arranging an emergency blood drive depending on the urgency.
For any blood emergency, Dennison can be reached via text at 615-4300 with the name of the person in need of the blood, blood type, amount, and name of medical centre where the patient is located.
The next blood drive has been tentatively scheduled for September 14, 2019. Potential donors are reminded that they should eat a healthy meal, drink plenty of fluids, and rest well the night before.
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