Cayman’s blood donations have increased by almost 20 percent over last year. Those at the Blood Bank said this is due to greater awareness and an overall push by local businesses to donate. “We chose this opportune time to officially recognize and thank all the donors who have contributed towards this noteworthy achievement for our islands. It is through your donations that live in our community have been saved,” said HSA Laboratory Manager and Blood Bank Manager Judith Clarke.
Longtime blood donor Cindy Downing was among donors participating in Dart’s first blood donation drive last Friday (14 June).
“I’m a regular blood donor and it isn’t easy for me to come and donate blood but I know by doing so I am saving a life, so for me, that’s important, being apart of that is just something very special,” said Ms. Downing.
At the end of 2018, a record number of 1,529 donors gave blood to the Blood Bank. The HSA said thanks to those donations 516 lives were saved or improved in Cayman. Dart blood drive organizer Gina McBryan said everyone should get involved. “In a short period of time, we’ve had an overwhelming amount of response to being able to give blood but there’s the fear of needles. Everyone doesn’t want to get stuck by something, but if you override that with the fact that you are helping save somebody else life, and how appreciative they would be that you did that. You can’t manufacture blood it has to be given,” said Ms. McBryan.
First-time blood donor Anthony Fraser said he is happy to help. “I’ve had family members that had to be on dialysis and they had to do it three times a week. This is my way of giving back to others that may need to do the same thing,” said Mr. Fraser. The Blood Bank said last year red blood imports dropped by 31.8%, that is due to an increase in donations. With 30% of Cayman’s population eligible to donate but only 2.4% are donating blood HSA said there is still much work to be done.