Residents invited to donate in today’s ‘Drip, Drip Challenge’

EVENT ANNOUNCED – Members of the Grand Bahama Blood Donors Society announced plans and activities for World Blood Donor Day that is set for today, June 14. (PHOTO: JENNEVA RUSSELL)

The Blood Donors Society of Grand Bahama committee is appealing to residents to help save a life by giving blood in observation of World Blood Donors Day, today June 14, with their first ever ‘Drip, Drip Challenge.’

During a press conference on Thursday (June 13) in the training centre of the Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH), committee members revealed that the theme for this year’s World Blood Donor Day is, ‘Safe Blood for All.’

President of the organization Lededra Marche, stated that challenge is an event the Society wanted to conduct to raise awareness for the need of blood donations.

“We also wanted to make it fun so the community would know it’s painless,” she added.

She informed that there will be a floating trophy for the winner and two categories for the challenge – the individual category, where one person can bring in as many donors as possible.

The second category is for groups. “Which is open to churches and the business community.”

The challenge begins at 11:00 a.m. and ends at 6:00 p.m.

Entry forms are available at The Freeport News, Kiss FM, Love 97 and the RMH Lab. The form can also be downloaded from the GB Blood Donors Society Facebook page at ‘gbbloodonors.’

Society Vice President Dr. Catherine Adderley, also spoke about the importance of having a healthy blood supply. She noted that the focus of the day will be highlighting voluntary blood donations in maintaining a safe blood supply for the community.

“The main purpose of our organization is to establish and maintain a population of people in Grand Bahama who are able to donate blood,” she said.

She added that many people fail to realize that blood is disposable and the supply must be replenished on a continual basis.

According to Dr. Adderley, they also highlight blood donors. “The sacrifices they’ve made.”

Medical Advisor to the Society Dr. Mandi Pedican, encouraged persons participating in the challenge to be prepared for the screening and donating process.

“We want to make sure that our donors who are coming in are safe and able to donate,” she said.

Dr. Pedican advised potential donors to have a good meal before donating, however, they should refrain from highly fatty foods.

She assured that the experience would be comfortable and led by highly trained medical professionals.

Dr. Pedican noted that this is an exciting time for the community and urged more persons to support the cause. “Donating blood can influence the lives of three persons,” she said, explaining that one pint of blood can save three lives.

She furthered that the gift that keeps on giving is free to five, but priceless for those who will receive it.

Research shows that persons donating blood should; eat iron-rich foods starting a week or two before they donate. These include red meat, eggs, whole grains, and dark green vegetables like spinach. Get additional vitamin C to help in iron absorption; eat a healthy, low-fat meal four or more hours before you donate.

Persons should also take plenty of fluids not only on the day of your donation, but also on the day before and the day after which would keep them from becoming dehydrated. Potential donors should be healthy on the donation date. If persons are suffering any flu or cold symptoms, they should refrain from donating; be sure to rest and have a snack right after a donation. There would also be refreshments at the drive.

Research shows that potential donors should not; rush through the cookies and juice provided after their donation. Either gulping them down or skipping them altogether may result in fainting or injury.

Potential donors should also refrain from consuming caffeine before donating because caffeinated drinks can act as diuretics, causing the body to get rid of water. You need to be well-hydrated before donating.

They should not smoke right before or after your donation, the nicotine could make you too light-headed. Wait an hour or more after donating.

Persons can exercise any time in the 24 hours after your donation; donate if you have an infection for which you are currently taking antibiotics, donate if you are at high risk for hepatitis or HIV.

They should refrain from donating if they have had a body piercing or tattoo done within the last 12 months.

Potential donors should also reconsider driving yourself home after donation because they could faint or fall asleep while driving, despite the juice and cookies. Consider having a friend do the driving, particularly one who does not donate on the same day.

The Grand Bahama health care community is also celebrating fathers this weekend. The Grand Bahama Medical and Dental Association will be hosting a Night of Champions on Saturday, June 15 at the Rand Nature Centre beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for this event are available at Pearce Plaza.

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