PONCE – As a result of the pandemic there has been a considerable decrease in donors in the Blood Bank of the Damas Hospital in Ponce, so the Dr. Sylvia Gutiérrez, pathologist and director of the Blood Bank, calls on people to become donors and save lives.
“We have seen a considerable decrease in the number of donors. For example, in February 2019 we received 199 donors in that month; If we compare it with 2021, we had 95 donors in February, which is a considerable drop, ”said Dr. Gutiérrez.
As he explained, the Damas Hospital always relies on the Red Cross for its blood supplies in addition to its usual donors; However, not only has it affected the fact that donors are afraid of contagion due to the situation of the pandemic, but the situation is aggravated by the bad weather in the United States because this has caused a decrease in the transport of blood from the Red Cross to Puerto Rico.
For these reasons, Dr. Gutiérrez calls for an increase in the number of donors to try to equal the number of donors received in 2019 and thus be able to have sufficient blood supplies for the patients treated at the institution.
“For each unit that they donate, it is a life that we are saving”, highlighted the director of the Blood Bank of the Damas Hospital.
With this in mind, he urged everyone between the ages of 16 and 65 to become a donor, something they can do every two months.
As a requirement, donors between the ages of 16 and 17 must be authorized in writing by a parent or legal guardian. Before donating they must eat correctly, not be fasting.
In addition, they must be in good health (cold symptoms are not accepted).
Likewise, they must be well hydrated and drink a bottle of water before donating. All donors will be required to have a photo ID.
The donation is coordinated by appointment by calling: (787) 840-8686, ext. 6125 or ext. 6237, you can also write to [email protected], to [email protected] or visit the new hospital website www.hospitaldamas.com.
“Most patients donate blood without any complications. The important thing is that when the patient comes to donate we do an interview process where an analysis of the health status of that patient is made, questions are asked about travel, about exposure, about high-risk behaviors for us to ensure that this donor is a good candidate to donate ”, indicated Dr. Gutiérrez.
He also pointed out that “a hemoglobin sample is taken from the patient, his pressure is taken and a screening is done before starting the donation process. We have a trained and trained staff that is constantly observing the patient during the donation process and, once the donation is complete, the patient is left for 15 minutes to assess that they are not presenting any post-donation symptoms, which may be general discomfort. , dizziness, nausea, vomiting, etc. And after the donation, they are provided with water and a snack so that they can leave peacefully. ”
If when they arrive home they present any symptoms, the donor can contact the institution and they will guide them on what to do regarding the symptoms they have.
Dr. Gutiérrez urged potential donors not to be afraid of the procedure, as it is a simple and safe one, where all necessary precautions are taken for the safety and well-being of the patient. He stressed that all health professionals at the institution are vaccinated against COVID-19 and continue to use their masks and protective equipment, so that donors can feel confident to donate without major risks.