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No fear in blood donation

By STACY MOORE Saturday, June 14 2014

click on pic to zoom in
FIRST TIME BLOOD DONOR: Devi Mohammed donates blood at the San Fernando General Hospital Blood Bank in observation of World Blood Donor Day. ...
FIRST TIME BLOOD DONOR: Devi Mohammed donates blood at the San Fernando General Hospital Blood Bank in observation of World Blood Donor Day. ...

THERE is a dire need for more persons to come forward to donate blood. But there is a culture of fear associated with donating blood which has hindered many individuals from coming forward to donate blood.

This was revealed yesterday by the chairman of the south West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA), Dr Lackram Bodoe, who was among blood donors at the Blood Bank at the San Fernando General Hospital.

Bodoe spoke to Newsday following a ceremony hosted at the Blood Bank in commemoration of World Blood Donor Day which will be celebrated worldwide today.

Theme for the ceremony titled “Safe Blood for Saving Mothers” also showed safe blood and blood products as being a comprehensive approach in preventing maternal deaths.

“Even though we have a large number of donors here in Trinidad and Tobago, there is still need for more persons to give blood. I think one of the primary concerns among the population is that there seems to be a cultural thing about giving blood.” Bodoe said.

He said persons have the wrong perception about blood donating, and may not fully understand the process. “There is a fear in giving blood where individuals believe that by giving blood their bodies become weaker. But research have shown that a healthy person can safely donate a pint of blood every six to nine months, ” he said.

Adding Bodoe said the false perception has a lot to do with public education. He noted that the SWRHA was committed towards working with the public, towards changing that perception whereby the public would be properly educated about donating blood.

He said the function was also held to give thanks to persons who have donated blood throughout the year.

Nurse at the blood bank, Ann Marie Ovid Headley, who chaired the ceremony described blood donors as heroes.

“The blood bank at this hospital is eternally grateful for the sprit of volunteerism and support from you and the general public. And would like to express our gratitude for the many years of partnering with us, hoping your dedication to saving lives remains phenomenal.” Ovid Headley said.

She said the support from members of the public has helped to normalise in the interim the high demand from the hospital for blood in view of the relatively short life of blood donated.

The nurse said volunteers are the heroes that continue to propel the engine room at the hospital’s health care facility.

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