Donating Blood is Good for Your Health – Medical Doctor

    JN Group

    Photo Caption: Dr Danielle Levy (right) checks Peter-Gaye Bromfield’s blood pressure, as part of the screening process to determine if she is in good health to donate blood, at the Christmas blood drive held at the JN Bank Head Office on December 9. The drive was organised by the Rotaract Club of Kingston in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the JN Sports and Social Club.

    Dr Danielle Levy is encouraging more persons to donate blood because of the benefits of the process, including better health for donors.

    She said while every donation can make a life-saving difference to those in need of transfusion, donors also get a basic check-up that can help them to improve their own lives.

    “A lot of the women especially who turn up to donate find out that they have low blood count during the screening process and that is something that you should check your doctor about. There are different types of anaemia; they may have iron deficiency anaemia or they may have B12 deficiency anaemia,” she explained.

    In addition to screening for haemoglobin concentration and other things, such as blood pressure, she said donating blood regularly can improve people’s heart health by removing excess iron from the body. Red blood cells contain iron to carry out their function. Dr Levy noted that this is particularly beneficial for men who usually have more iron stored.

    “Your blood cells regenerate whenever you donate blood and for us women, our blood cells regenerate on a monthly basis. Men don’t have that opportunity so especially for men, donation is very good,” she said.

    Dr Levy shared the benefits of donating during the Christmas Blood Drive held at the JN Bank Head Office in Half Way Tree on December 9. The drive was organised by the Rotaract Club of Kingston in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the JN Sports and Social Club. Thirty units of blood were collected at the event which can benefit some 90 persons in need.

    According to blood donor organiser at the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), Keishawna Pinnock, 10 blood drives have already been staged in December across the country, with more scheduled to take place before Christmas.

    “These drives are very important especially during the Yuletide season when the hospitals and health centres get a lot of persons in need of blood. It’s critical for us to be on the road during this time to collect more blood to meet the country’s demand,” she acknowledged.

    She also encouraged more persons to give the gift of blood and reiterated that the process to donate is simple.

    “It’s five steps to the donation process. There’s registration, then there are two parts to the screening process where you can even get an idea of which blood group you belong to. Donating is the 4th step and that’s actually the shortest step of about five to seven minutes and then you move on to the fifth step, which is hydration, and you spend a little time with us for the nurse to assess you and make sure you are ok before you leave,” she explained.

    For Peter-Gaye Bromfield, vice president of the Rotaract Club of Kingston, who is a regular blood donor, giving blood is important not only for the personal health benefits, but also because of the impact it can have for others in need.

    “I feel closely connected to giving back to my community in any way possible and blood is something that we all have. It’s very easy to donate and I’ve never had a bad experience giving. You are also given certain opportunities, as a donor, if you need blood,” she said.

    Harrington Moncrieffe said he also understands the value of donating and noted that “there are people out there who really need blood and so every time the Rotaract Club of Kingston puts on a drive, I try to donate.”

    Outside of blood drives, the NBTS said persons can donate blood at any of the 11 blood collection centres located at hospitals across the island. Interested persons can visit or the NBTS’ social media pages for the list of centres and their locations.

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