BVI News

Red Cross launches blood donor drive in preparation for another disaster

Director of the BVI Red Cross Helen Frett.

In anticipation of a possible disaster hitting the British Virgin Islands, the BVI Red Cross will be launching a blood donor drive.

The drive will begin territory-wide on Monday, March 25. During the drive, volunteers will be placed at strategic locations to sign willing persons to a blood donor register.

And if someone requires blood in the future, registered donors will be contacted to give blood. To become a donor, persons must be between 18 to 65 years old and weigh no less than 110 pounds.

In explaining the necessity of having a local blood reserve, the organisation said 135 of the 345 units of blood that BVI residents needed last year had to be imported from the US Red Cross.

“The worry is that receiving blood from elsewhere can take time. For our territory to be prepared for disasters, we need to sustain our own blood reserves,” the BVI Red Cross said via a news release on Tuesday.

“Many people in the Virgin Islands are only alive today because they received a blood transfusion when they needed one,” it added. “It could be used to help local people with medical conditions like sickle cell or anaemia. It might be needed following a road accident or if someone is badly burnt. Blood can be needed during surgical procedures or perhaps donated blood will help a mother suffering complications in pregnancy or birth.”

The 2019 Atlantic Hurricane season is roughly two months away.

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