Blood wanted but not from ex-UK residents

| 12/06/2015 | 43 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): Members are the public are being encourage to give blood this weekend to mark World Blood Donor Day. The hospital bank needs all types of blood but the ban on former UK residents remains in place. Officials said they cannot accept blood from anyone who visited or lived in the UK for three months or more between 1980 and 1996 or who received a transfusion there because of the possibility of transmitting Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease, commonly known was mad cow disease.

Those who are eligible, however, are being reassured by officials that donating blood is a safe process where only new, sterile needles and collection materials are used for each donation, after which all needles are properly disposed. As well as saving lives, giving blood is also beneficial to donors as it stimulates the bone marrow, which helps produce new cells.

The hospital will be hosting an open day on Saturday to celebrate World Blood Donor Day with the theme this year of “Thank you for saving my life” and the slogan “Give freely, give often. Blood donation matters”. The donor recruitment drive will be held in the Atrium from 9am – 3pm on 13 June, where the ministry hopes to double the number of 979 donors already signed up.

See World Blood Donor Day flyer

“If you cannot donate on the day, please make an appointment for another day, as there is always a demand for blood,” officials urged.

The American Red Cross says that a single donation of blood can save the lives of up to three people through red blood cells, plasma and platelets. Giving blood also helps build commitment to the community and the donor can be satisfied that adequate supplies of blood are available here in Cayman for themselves, family members, friends and co-workers.

“Just a few days ago the Atlantic Basin entered a new hurricane season and while everyone in the Cayman Islands hopes that predictions of a quiet season come to fruition, the Country must ensure that there is enough blood supply on hand should an emergency situation like a storm strike,” the health minister said in a message to the country to mark the day.

But he pointed out that the number of severe road accidents recently demonstrates the need for the hospital to have a constant and plentiful supply of blood. As blood lasts at the blood bank for only 35 days, officials are hoping to get people to become regular voluntary donors.

As well as former UK residents, anyone who has spent five years or more from 1980 to present in Europe is also prevented from donating, as well as anyone who has received a blood transfusion in France or those who are HIV-positive, have hepatitis or are nursing or pregnant.

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    As much as I see this repetitive, insulting attitude from expatriates on this Island, I am still shocked by their asinine, derogatory comments toward Cayman, its people and its government. I ask all of you that fit into that category to ‘please get the f**k off our Island’!

  2. Bluff Patrol says:

    This same policy applies at blood banks in the USA. It appears that Cayman is following the same rules i.e. adhering to international standards.

  3. Anonymous says:

    HSA don’t have the tools to test UK blood that is the issue I believe, seems a simple solution to me. Maybe Dr. Shetty could get this and we could donate directly to his hospital.

  4. Prickly Prion says:

    How about also educating the public (schools included) about the risks and effects of interbreeding which seem to have far more risk relevance here than what HSA deems to be the case for bad blood from UK.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It’s perfectly understandable when a nation already suffers greatly from Foot In Mouth.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Leave our Welsh sheep alone…they are very comforting on a cold winter’s night in the hills.
    I have many fond memories of Megan and Blodwyn…

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, I have a very dear friend who harks from Cornwall who would very much agree with you : “Leave our sheep alone. And we with our sheep.”

  7. Anonymous says:

    I wont donate blood in cayman I don’t want some drunk druggie that was in a crash to have any extra chance from me I will keep my O+ blood
    Sorry to the few good people

  8. Anonymous says:

    Oh my god, how backwards is this country, you make rednecks look smart?

    • Sammi blue says:

      The UK does not itself take blood from that particular group of people either so are you saying that they are also red necks. as a matter of fact some scientist are now saying that the period to not allow them to give blood might be more like 50 years instead of the 15/20 years that is now the norm. Seems like once a person gets this disease it is always in their bodies. I know that many persons from the UK were blood donors but it is better to be safe than sorry. No one here should be made at risk you taking tainted blood.

      • Anonymous says:

        Idiot, I give blood in the UK and I lived there between those dates. The whole blood transfusion service would come to a stop if everyone between the ages of 20 and over 35 years couldn’t give blood. It is only a minority of transfusion patients who are affected, not the whole damn population, and they know who they are.
        Your stupid, ignorant scaremongering is typical of a small town bigot who has no understanding of how the big world works out there.
        ‘Better to be safe than sorry’, what a pile of crap, shame you don’t apply that reasoning to drug and alcohol abuse, under age pregnancy, gang violence, domestic violence, diabetes, mental health, road safety, health and safety at work, diet, public health and environmental pollution and a multitude of other causes of death, injury, ill health and societal breakdown.
        Remember the ignorance demonstrated over foot and mouth, with the stupid disinfectant mats as you got off the aircraft or the Ebola crisis in Africa that saw the uneducated panicking and giving warnings of doom?
        This is just another example of the backwards thinking here on Cayman.

        • Sammi blue says:

          Beg your pardon but yesterday I heard someone from the blood bank say that persons in the stated category cannot be a donor in the Ik.if you want someone to quarrel with go see sound like another Legge – it’s amazing or should I say most disconcerting to have some many of you around .

          • Anonymous says:

            So was that person taking the blood? in which case you let an idiot stick a needle in you. Good luck with that!

          • Diogenes says:

            You heard someone from the blood bank say..well if you wont believe the poster who has actually given blood in the UK, try believing the information provided by the NHS (below) – you see, people within the age group are clearly allowed. The poster may have been a little rude, but he is right, and you might have been better advised to simply check on the internet before you retaliate with the “another Legge” crap.

            Who can give blood?
            Most people can give blood. If you are generally in good health, age 17 to 65 (if it’s your first time) and weigh at least 50kg (7st 12Ib) you can donate. However, If you are female, aged under 20 years old and weigh under 65kg (10st 3lb) and are under 168cm (5’6) in height, we need to estimate your blood volume before donating.

            • Anonymous says:

              Or maybe dumb dumb should be in that category, as a simple google search turns up a list of people in the UK who should not give blood and this is one of the following bullet points:

              ****A member of your family (parent, brother, sister or child) has suffered with CJD (Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease) AKA Mad Cow Disease.

              Clearly he/she still suffers some side effects since he/she doesn’t care that he/she could potentially be harming people! Ignorance to the 100th power:|

  9. Anonymous says:

    I left the UK in 82…still can’t give here or in the US.
    Kinda’ silly!

    Love the funnies!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Worth noting that GT Blood Bank also supplies the Shetty Hospital with blood for their “for-profit” customer procedures, putting a new, extra strain on local supplies.

    All blood components have a short shelf life, creating the need for a constant blood supply.

    Platelets – up to 5 days
    Red cells- up to 42 days
    Plasma – up to one year

    Blood Required by Procedure:

    Coronary artery bypass surgery: 1-5 units
    Fractured hip/joint replacement: 2-5 units
    Cardiovascular surgery: 2-25 units
    Bleeding Ulcer: 3-30 units
    Brain surgery: 2-25 units
    Auto Accidents/Gunshot wounds: Up to 50 units
    Liver Transplants: Up to 50 units
    Other organ transplants: Up to 10 units
    Bone marrow transplant: Up to 2 a day
    Sickle cell/Aplastic anemia: Up to 4 a month

    The human body normally contains 7-12 pints of blood, and the average donor unit is roughly equal to 1 pint.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Where does the UK get their blood? And do they have any records on how many people contracted CJF from blood transfusions there?

  12. Pogo says:

    Given the number of European residents one wonders why they cannot accept the donations but simply mark the blood only to be used for those persons resident in Europe during the “danger” period – they would be no worse off being given that blood then they would if back in Europe, and it would free up more of the other blood stock to be used for non European residents. Just mark the bag with a big x or something. What’s the worst case – no one needs it and it has to be binned?

    I know blood donation was a popular community contribution in the UK, and it seems to me they are deliberately closing their eyes to a major source of blood because of an administrative detail. And frankly, what if they do use it on people not already exposed to Creuzfeld Jacob disease? If I was dying for loss of blood and was given the choice of bleeding out or taking a one in a million chance of developing CZ later, know which I would take.

  13. Anonymous says:

    HSA should confirm that none of the donated blood is being sold to Health City. Blood donors do not seek to why should HSA?

    How much blood was sold in the last 12 months?

  14. finfoot says:

    This is ridiculous. I am O neg, which makes me a universal donor, and I used to donate a pint every twelve weeks. Each time I would fill in the same form, and each time I would enter exactly the same information. After about twelve visits, someone at the blood bank must have actually read my form, because suddenly they said I wasn’t able to donate because I had lived in the UK in the mid- to late-90’s. I know for a fact that my blood was used in at least two life-saving operations here in Cayman. It’s a pity it can’t be used to help more people.

  15. John Harris says:

    They do know that the whole mad cow scare turned out to be rubbish, don’t they?

    I used to regularly donate blood when I lived in the UK and would happily do so here, but my blood is not wanted because of a myth.

    If the shortages are that severe, the government should commission some authoritative research on CJD rather than relying on out of date myths.

    • Anonymous says:

      What are you doing asking cIG to commission a report. You do know once done it will sit on a shelf or worse still altered to make its finding fit with the dogma of the day. Just ask them to read the facts in line, oh wait that would take initiative.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The ban on UK residents giving blood is pretty ridiculous.

    • Anonymous says:

      But it is based on the US blood-bank rules of which we are a participant, and so we have no choice in the matter.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dem don’t want no more Limely blood infiltrating de locals – dat what it is… no true?
      Trus me, it’s bad enough dem own us, but now dem want fe put dem blood inna we veins!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Hard luck bobo, if you are of true Caymanian stock then you will have that evil white blood in your veins. Let’s hope it gives you some sense, eventually.

    • Sammi blue says:

      But they are also banned in th UK. If they are afraid of transmitting the disease why should we take the risk?

      • Anonymous says:

        Only those who were transfused with suspicious blood, the same applies to haemophiliacs who were unfortunately transfused with HIV.
        The entire UK population is not barred from giving blood in the UK, only those identified at risk, and they are fully aware of their sad status.

      • Anonymous says:

        Good grief, you seriously believed the fool at the blood bank. Seriously think about it. Do you believe everything everyone tells you?

  17. T Rankine says:

    I donated blood annually in my summers home when studying and intended to continue doing so on my visits home now that I am based in London. It’s approaching 5 years being in the UK now, does this mean I won’t be able to donate anymore? Is this additional restriction also because of the Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease risk?

  18. Anonymous says:

    I can promise you I never had sex with a mad cow.

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