Jun 04, 2020 News
Since the Implementation of the Covid-19 Emergency Measures on March 16, 2020, blood supplies have been dwindling at the National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS).
But as of recent the massive reduction of available blood units has forced the NBTS to operate at a “hand to mouth” level.This is according to the NBTS Director, Dr. Pedro Lewis who explained that as fast as blood units are collected from donors they are taken out of the stores leaving the blood bank with little or no reserves for emergency cases.
He noted that this puts the lives of many patients at risk, especially pregnant mothers and accident victims.
As a result of this concern the NBTS has been led to publish a nationwide advisory on state-owned television, National Communications Network (NCN) for an “urgent need of blood.”
Dr. Lewis explained that the reason for the Blood Bank’s current state is primarily because of the Covid-19 Pandemic
The NBTS director said that major blood drives that are normally held countrywide were cancelled in adherence to the implemented CVID-19 restrictions.
This has been a big blow, said Lewis, “because we are not able to collect large units of blood as per norm.”
He gave examples of previously held blood drives at where the NBTS collected 400 or more units of blood within a two-day period.
“Normally the ‘Swami School’s’ (SVN) blood drive would be held two times annually, in May and November,” said Lewis.
In addition, Lewis said that other cancelled blood drives would have also contributed significantly. He noted that in the past the blood bank would have recorded close to 60 units of blood per day from these drives.
Another factor that has aided in leaving the NBTS supplies at crisis level is donors’ fear of visiting the Blood Bank’s facility located within the compound of the Georgetown Public Hospital’s Corporation (GPHC).
“Persons fear that if they come to donate bloods at the NBTS facility they will catch Coronavirus, so very few persons come to donate blood,” continued Lewis”.
Adapting to the situation, the NBTS has decided to set up mobile “blood drives” with the use of buses stationed at various locations across Guyana.Lewis said that these mobile units will be strategically placed at market squares such as the Stabroek Market, Lenora Market, Parika Market, etc.
“As is required by Ministry of Public Health social distancing will be observed and persons will be screened for Covid-19, sanitized and given a footbath before they enter the Mobile units.”
Appointments can also be made with the NBTS to have the “Mobile units visit your homes, or persons can visit the various regional hospitals across Guyana. “Please Donate Blood, Guyana. We need it”.
Anyone wishing to make an appointment you can contact the national Blood Transfusion Services on 226-7182/227-0418
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