World Blood Donor Day
This year for World Blood Donor Day the Cayman Islands Ministry of Health has adopted the international theme - "Thank you for saving my life" and the slogan "Give freely, give often. Blood donation matters".
And it really does matter.
According to the American Red Cross, a single donation of blood can save the lives of up to three people through red blood cells, plasma and platelets. Giving blood also helps build commitment to the community and the donor can be satisfied that adequate supplies of blood are available here in Cayman for themselves, family members, friends and co-workers.
Just a few days ago the Atlantic Basin entered a new hurricane season and while everyone in the Cayman Islands hopes that predictions of a quiet season come to fruition, the Country must ensure that there is enough blood supply on hand should an emergency situation like a storm strike. But it doesn't even take a storm. The Cayman Islands has been witness to severe road accidents recently; the point being, no one ever knows when an accident may happen and a supply of blood become necessary.
If you aren't already a blood donor, the Ministry of Health implores you to sign up. Having more people enrolled who are willing to give blood is of the utmost importance in a disaster situation when we would more than likely be unable to import blood if flights become unavailable. It would also mean that our local blood bank would call on individual donors less often.
Another important figure in all of this is that blood lasts at the blood bank for only 35 days.
The Ministry of Health will be celebrating World Blood Donor Day at the Cayman Islands Hospital on Saturday, 13 June, and will mark the official day on 14 June with countries from around the globe to celebrate this life-giving gift. The Ministry thanks each and every Cayman resident who already selflessly gives blood.
For those who haven't signed up to donate blood, 13 June, 2015, gives you the perfect opportunity. A recruitment drive will be held at the Cayman Islands Hospital Atrium from 9am - 3pm on 13 June where the Ministry hopes to double the number of 979 donors already signed up. If you cannot donate on the day, please make an appointment for another day, as there is always a demand for blood.
Having more donors is important as Cayman's is a transient population. Another reason for more donors - and for those who have signed up to give regularly - is the opening of Health City in East End. Another hospital means a bigger demand for blood.
The Ministry of Health is happy to report that the Cayman Islands Blood Bank does very well in the region as its donor base is 100 per cent voluntary; the Cayman Islands doesn't pay for life-saving blood.
The Ministry of Health can assure everyone that donating blood is a safe process where only new, sterile needles and collection materials are used for each donation, after which all needles are properly disposed. In addition to providing benefits for patients, donating blood is also beneficial to donors as it stimulates the bone marrow, which helps produce new cells. Plus you have the satisfaction of knowing you have helped your fellow man.