PMH facing blood shortage “crisis”

PMH facing blood shortage “crisis”
Human blood in storage

PHA urges the public to donate blood to shore up supplies

RBDF to have blood drive Friday between 10am-3pm

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) has made an “urgent” appeal for blood as Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) faces a blood shortage “crisis”.

A source close to the matter told Eyewitness News that blood supplies have dwindled to less than a dozen units, calling the situation a “crisis” for the hospital.

Each unit can serve up to three people.

In a statement, the PHA said: “The public is advised that the Princess Margaret Hospital is in urgent need of all types of blood.”

Blood donations can be made at the PMH Blood Bank.

The authority advised that individuals who are ill or experiencing respiratory symptoms should not donate blood.

It said in adherence to the social distancing protocols, group donations are discouraged and no more than three people will be facilitated at a time.

PMH’s blood bank is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 5pm.

The authority noted; however, the final donation will be taken at 4.30pm.

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force will also hold a blood drive between 10am and 3pm Friday.

Eased restrictions

As the world grapples with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, other countries have reported blood shortages, including the United States where many non-governmental blood drives were cancelled.

Today, the United States government eased restrictions on blood donations from gay men and other key groups in hopes of resolving the blood supply drop in recent weeks.

Blood donations are screened for infectious diseases, including HIV.

The Food and Drug administration’s policy prevented donations from individuals who had sex with the same sex, or individuals who had sex with gay or bisexual men in the previous year, as well as people who got tattoos and piercing in the last year.

Under the new policy; however, the timeframe was shortened to three months.