Thursday, July 25, 2024

Island Donors Squad works to improve the country’s emergency blood supply


Island Donors Squad (IDS) is collaborating with Adrian Martinez of the Belize National Blood Transfusion Services (BNTBS) to increase the island’s blood reserves through blood drives. Currently facing a blood shortage, IDS is working to meet the needs of seven people, which requires thirty-three pints of blood. IDS has decided to maintain a reserve of five pints above the limit to reduce the necessity for emergency drives. After reaching this threshold, the squad will plan for an emergency drive to ensure an adequate blood supply, thereby minimizing the risk of shortages and the need for individuals to wait in line for blood. This new approach will help IDS maintain a steady supply.
Laurie Norton, also known as “Taco Girl,” one of the founders of IDS, has expressed her frustration over the current shortage of blood supply for emergencies. She states that public outcry for changes over the years has gone unanswered. As a response, IDS is proud to announce its new implementation strategy. “The goal is to alleviate the stress on patients and their families by helping them find the blood they need for planned surgeries or urgent situations. We understand the challenges within the system and the difficulties that families and patients encounter during tough times. IDS aims to ease the burden on patients and families by assisting them in finding the blood they require for planned surgeries or critical situations.”
IDS has recently achieved one of its key objectives by implementing emergency blood drive procedures for residents of Ambergris Caye. They are now focusing on their primary goal: encouraging all districts to establish robust blood reserves to benefit the community and the entire country.
Currently, a 21-year-old man from Belize City is in the hospital, awaiting an O- blood type. In response, IDS has initiated a gradual approach to address this issue by increasing district reserves through donor recruitment and organizing successful donation drives nationwide.
Additionally, in honor of “World Donor Day 2024” on June 14th, the Island Donor Squad is mobilizing the country to address the blood crisis and fulfill the critical needs of residents requiring blood. To participate in the World Blood Donor Day 2024 Belize District Blood Donor Challenge, interested donors can join the squad by following their Facebook page at for the latest updates on donation needs and blood drives. Additionally, by providing your blood donor information through a message to the Facebook page, you can enter “The current District Donor Leader Board.” The current standings are as follows: Cayo is in first place, Belize is in second place, and Corozal is in third place.

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