BDS encourages residents to give the gift of ‘red gold’

GIVE THE GIFT OF BLOOD – Valeria Burrows (left), Communications Director of the Rand Memorial Hospital (RHM)and Lededra Marche (right), President of the Blood Donors Society of Grand Bahama are encouraging residents to come out and support the organization this weekend during their blood drive at RMH. (Photo: Jenneva Russell)

Blood is ‘red gold’ in times of saving a life and the Blood Donors Society (BDS) of Grand Bahama invites the community to support the ‘Give the Gift of Life’ Blood Drive on Saturday, December 9, 2017 beginning 10:00 a.m. in the Rand Memorial Hospital foyer.

Understanding all too well that the finest gesture anyone can make is to save a life by donating blood, Lededra Marche, BDS President revealed, she is appreciative of the partnership struck with the Grand Bahama Health Services (GBHS) and Bahamas Red Cross Grand Bahama Centre to promote and put forth the drive.

“Indeed the Blood Donors Society of Grand Bahama (BDS) is excited to host our first in a quarterly series of blood drives kick-starting this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Rand Memorial Hospital.
“We are encouraging the entire Grand Bahama community to come out and support; not only is it our goal to procure blood but also raise awareness regarding the need to keep the local blood bank properly stored.
“One of the ways in which to ensure the blood bank stocks are maintained is by encouraging persons in the community no matter their blood type to capitalize on this opportunity and become a donor.

“The age for persons who wish to donate starts between 16 and 18 years old and those who may be ineligible to “give the gift of life” can still offer assistance be it in kind as well as by volunteering during the drive to ensure it is a smooth process,” Marche said.

Donors are encouraged to eat a healthy, wholesome and well-balanced breakfast and drink lots of water at least a half hour before coming to the drive; a full screening will be done to ensure that all potential donors are healthy enough to “give the gift of life” GBHS Assistant Communications Director Valeria Burrows chimed in.

Noting that as a health care institution it is a delight for the Rand Memorial Hospital/GBHS to partner with the blood drive, Burrows echoed the sentiment expressed by the BDS President inviting all and sundry across Grand Bahama to donate, as the blood donor of the day may be the recipient of tomorrow and the life saved could be their very own.

Appreciative of the fact that if one is a blood donor, he or she is considered a hero to someone, somewhere, who receives their gracious life-saving gift, Claudia Glinton, GBHS/Rand Memorial Hospital Lab Manager & BDS Treasurer put to rest any undue concerns and misconceptions related to donating blood stating, “Donors must eat a well-balanced meal at least a 30 minutes before donating.

“A screening process will take place and those concerned as to whether or not they are eligible to give blood due to being hypertensive or diabetic should note that once they have either under control donating is easy.

“Also persons with tattoos need not fret as to whether or not they are eligible to give blood as they can so long as the tattoo is a year old.

“All questions and queries would be answered by medical professionals who will be conducting the screening so there is no need to worry and as it relates to exactly what is considered a healthy breakfast, it would consist of a meal with fruit, little starch and nothing too fatty.

“The ideal meal in that regard would be chicken souse and not a croissant that is loaded with meats and cheese; staying hydrated is also key for any blood donor so again we encourage all to drink lots of water.”

Bahamas Red Cross Grand Bahama Centre Administrator Stephanie Barr also expressed her elation with being a partner of the BDS ‘Give the Gift of Life’ Blood Drive noting that the donation of blood may mean a few minutes to the donors but a lifetime to the recipients hence she encourages all to demonstrate how much they care by simply sharing a little and donating to give back life.

Furthermore, Barr stated that the partnership struck with the BDS and the GBHS is certainly wonderful as all hands on deck are needed to not only assist with this initiative but also ensure it is a success.

“Grand Bahama needs this blood drive especially when a person is in need and family members have to issue a clarion call at church or by way of television and radio news broadcasts for blood that can safe their loved one’s life.

“By conducting a quarterly blood drive the blood bank at the hospital would have stabilized reserves and it would be readily available in the event it is needed.

“Again the Bahamas Red Cross Grand Bahama Centre is pleased to partner in this initiative and we look forward to the support of the Grand Bahama community this Saturday at the BDS ‘Give the Gift of Life’ Blood Drive at the Rand Memorial Hospital and quarterly, as the next one to occur would take place in April 2018,” declared Barr.

Procuring life one donor at a time is the operating motto of the Blood Donors Society of Grand Bahama (BDS) and according to Marche anyone wishing to become a member or interested in more information are encouraged to send an email to gbblooddonors@gmail.com.

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