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Demand for blood increases during Summer and Christmas periods- Blood transfusion service eyes 60,000 units of blood this year

Published:Monday | June 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Julia Rowe-Porter (left), Orane Shaw (centre), and Michael King donate blood to the National Blood Transfusion Service during a blood drive held yesterday at the Bethel Baptist Church in St Andrew. Jamaica will join the world in celebrating World Blood Donor Day on Thursday.

Motor vehicle accidents, coupled with the high number of hospital patients injured because of acts of violence, has pushed the National Blood Transfusion Service into a hunt to secure at least 60,000 units of donated blood this year.

Keishawna Pinnock, assistant blood donor organiser at the National Blood Transfusion Service, told The Gleaner yesterday that the demand for blood usually heightened during summer and Christmas.

Pinnock was at the Bethel Baptist Church in St Andrew for a blood drive and church service in recognition of World Blood Donor Day, celebrated globally on June 14.

"Look at the patients from crashes. Look at the acts of violence. We want to stay on top because at certain times, demand for blood increases," she said.

"That happens in the summer and Christmas periods. We want to be proactive. Our heads are on the ground, collecting as many units of blood because we also have mothers that have complications."

She added: "We safely need 60,000 units of blood every year to take care of Jamaica. One of the bags of blood measures a little less than a pint. Sometimes we get 30,000, but never 60,000. So we are trying to get 60,000," she said.

Pinnock described World Blood Donor Day as a big deal for Jamaica.

"We take the task of making a big deal out of it. On that day, we will have a huge blood drive, with a lot of spectacles. This year, we will celebrate in Ocho Rios, so try and celebrate (too)."