The Health Services Authority, Car City and Hurley’s Media made history on Saturday, 10 March by hosting the first ever mobile blood drive in the Cayman Islands with a total of 52 pints of blood donated, a record number for the Cayman Islands, the most amount of blood donated in a single day. Of the attendees, 63 registered to be blood donors and of those persons who donated 40 were first time donors.
“This wasn’t your average blood drive,” said Taylor Foster of Car City, who initiated the partnership that led to the blood drive. “The blood bank has held dozens of drives, but it has never before gone mobile by collecting blood onsite. Car City is extremely proud to be among the drivers of such a groundbreaking event. It’s turnout demonstrated the philanthropic capacity of the people of these islands, all while doing something very important – stocking our national blood bank with the product it needs and one that is used to save lives.”
Operating out of the HSA, the Cayman Islands Blood Bank relies on an average collection rate of four pints of blood each day to meet the current healthcare needs of the islands medical facilities, but this is expected to increase. Some of this total is imported from the United States of America when the blood bank is experiencing a deficit due to periodic increase in demand and a lack of local donations in time of need.
Judith Clarke, Laboratory Manager at HSA noted, “In regards to blood supply, the population of the Cayman Islands can sustain itself however, only two per cent of our population donates and ideally we need to achieve five per cent according to the World Health Organisation. The hesitation to donate is higher among millennials than any other generational group. This signals to us that greater awareness and promotion is paramount to changing the views this particular group and others have about blood donation. Therefore, we are very grateful to Car City Cayman for spearheading this amazing initiative. Their support and partnership with Hurley’s Media allowed us to increase awareness in the community of the importance of blood donation.”
Eric Vincent of Hurley’s Media praised the private-public partnership initiative as one that must continue. “The need for blood is constant and everyone who resides on these islands, at some point in their lifetime, will know someone in need of a transfusion. Victims of accidents, people struck by illnesses, patients experiencing medical complications are examples of those who may need blood. A day may come when even you may need blood. As private sector companies, Hurley’s Media and Car City see the importance of blood donations to Cayman, which is why we support the Blood Bank and hope others will too.”
In appreciation of the community’s support, Car City offered complimentary oil change on all Car City brand vehicles at the event. Al-La-Kebab provided food and a bouncing castle kept children entertained.
“I want to thank everyone who came out to support the first Car City annual blood drive. We plan to further develop our partnership with the Blood Bank by helping to identify innovative ways to increase our islands blood supply. We hope to see you next year!” declared Mr. Foster.
Thanks to the Blood Bank’s continued partnership with Generali to create an interactive website individuals can visit www.bloodbank.ky to learn more, determine their eligibility or book an appointment.