Two days into a pre-Cup Match appeal to boost O Negative Blood supplies, Bermuda Hospitals Board Consultant Haematologist Dr Eyitayo Fakunle today expressed a big thank you to donors who answered their call for help before the four-day holiday weekend.
“We are very grateful for the support we received from the public. By the end of Wednesday, July 27, 2016, we were able to meet our required needs,” said Dr Fakunle.
“Out of the total number of donations following our call, about 15 new blood donors donated blood and registered with us for subsequent donations, which will help save lives going forward. I would like to thank everyone who helped last week to ensure Bermuda had adequate blood supplies over the Cup Match holiday.”
Once the appeal went out last Monday, a total of 55 people set up appointments to donate blood before Cup Match, despite their hectic schedules.
“First of all, our continued gratitude to our regular donors who made appointments before our call for blood, despite busy vacation schedules and holiday preparations,” said Dr Fakunle.
“Following our call for donations last Monday, 55 people contacted the Blood Donor Centre, and a total of 16 of them donated blood last week. Out of these 15 were new donors, which is great news. These people join our generous team of regular donors who save lives all year round by donating blood every few months.
“Another 14 people who called the Blood Donor Centre were scheduled for this week, ensuring that at this time of increased vacation, that we can continue to maintain blood supplies needed to save lives and treat people in Bermuda.”
Another 25 people called who were not eligible, for which he was grateful for “their desire to help” and “for taking the time to call”. “For any person who cannot donate, you can still help by encouraging others, or passing calls for donations when they come, Dr Fakunle added.
“The guideline that prevents people from donating if they spent more than three months in the UK between 1980 and 1996 is often raised as a frustration for many who would otherwise willingly donate. It must be stressed that we are following guidelines set in countries such as the US and Canada.
“Our priority is the safety of our patients here in Bermuda. There is currently no test for the variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (vCJD) – often referred to as mad cow disease – which people living in the UK were exposed to by eating meat during those years. In the absence of a test, we err on the side of safety even though it has reduced our donor population.”
By Ceola Wilson