In recognition of World Blood Donor Day, a celebration to raise awareness of the vital need for blood every year on June 14, Health Minister Kim Wilson extended a big thank you to Bermuda’s voluntary donors.
In a Ministerial Statement the day after on Friday, Ms Wilson noted that blood transfusions “help save millions of lives each year”.
“As stated by the World Health Organization, blood donations can help patients with life-threatening conditions live longer, support surgeries, and help emergency response teams after a natural disaster and more,” she said.
“Every day, people lose blood in accidents and injuries and desperately require transfusions to compensate for the dangerous loss. The problem is that the body can produce its own blood to a certain limit, so the external sources are needed to help the organism to recover.
“According to the statistics, one in seven hospitalized patients need blood, and it is especially important for treating cancer and injuries and supporting the body during the surgery.
Accordingly to the American Red Cross, because the blood cannot be manufactured in the clinical setting, there is a high demand for eligible persons ready to donate blood regularly,” she added.
Citing “women and complications of pregnancies” as just one example where blood transfusions are required “to survive after traumatic childbirth” to “young patients with severe anaemia”, Ms Wilson said more often than not, a “large percentage” of the blood donated is “needed to help people with severe traumas received in these traffic accidents”.
“Donating blood is definitely an act of goodness. Many hospitals and clinics are in constant need of blood donors,” said Ms Wilson.
“On average, our body has around 4-5 litres of blood which can be donated every three months in the case of men and every four months in the case of women.
“Furthermore, there is no denial of the fact that donating blood has many benefits. It is not only safe but offers a number of advantages.”
Those advantages include:
- You save the lives of people – There are many people who are in urgent need of blood and by donating you can easily give them the gift of life. This satisfaction is the biggest thing that you will ever experience. It gives you a feeling of pride that you helped to save someone’s life. So by giving blood, you can certainly give life to people.
- Refreshes your system – After you donate the blood, the cell count decreases due to which new cells regenerate. This is a healthy process which defines that a person is fit and fine. So donating the blood can result in a much healthier body which is something I’m sure we all want.
- Adds to the blood quantity – Blood is not only required in case of accidents or injuries but sometimes a patient may need plasma or platelets as well. In this case, if sufficient amount of blood is available in the blood bank, the patient can be treated without any problem. Thus donors should give blood on a regular basis so that people can receive the treatment at the right time.
- One final benefit of donating blood is that a person receives a free and quick medical check-up. Before you are ready to donate blood, the hospital professionals will make the necessary diagnosis of your iron content, cholesterol, hemoglobin etc.
“All of these benefits can be received in what amounts to just an hour of your time!
“The Health benefits of donating blood include good health and a reduced risk of cancer and hemochromatosis. It helps in reducing the risk of damage to the liver and pancreas.
“Donating blood may help in improving cardiovascular health as well other health benefits.
Therefore, it is critical for healthcare providers to encourage eligible (healthy) people to donate their blood. It is important to understand that the decision to give one’s blood can save someone’s life, while it will cost nothing to the donor.
“Donors need to realize that they help real people, who rely on their decision and have no other choice than to wait for someone to give their blood,” Ms Wilson said.
She noted that the blood donation process is quick and easy and pain free. And she urged anyone ready to donate blood to register and undergo a short check-up (pulse, temperature, blood pressure, etc.).
“The actual process takes no more than eight to ten minutes, during which a donor sits comfortably while nurses or other medical staff take the required amount of blood.
“One needs to understand that donation is totally safe and sterile and that the donor’s health is not impaired.
“After the donation, it is recommended to have a nutritious meal and drink and then return to the daily activities with a feeling of pride and accomplishment,” she said.
“Another benefit is that a donor may feel the sense of pride for helping to save someone’s life.
“This experience makes people more conscious and empathetic and allows them to feel their contribution to the society, which positively affects their emotional well-being and self-esteem.
“Thus, one may summarize that blood donation is beneficial for both patients and donors.”
Ultimately, she said donating blood “creates invisible bonds among people and contributes to high social awareness and responsibility”.
But more importantly, she said: “Donating blood helps save lives.”