HSA plans open blood day to boost supply

| 11/06/2014

(CNS) Updated with HSA statement: The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority is encouraging the community to come out to the hospital on Saturday to give blood. The blood bank is almost always in need of support from donors in order to save lives, and to mark the 11th World Blood Donor Day on 14 June it is hoping to recruit new donors. However, because of remaining concerns about vCJD transmission (known as 'mad cow's disease') in the UK between 1980 and 1996, the HSA is still not accepting blood from anyone who lived in the UK at that time for more than three months.

The HSA issued the following statement after enquiries by CNS about the situation regarding donations from UK nationals and former residents:

"The Cayman Islands Health Service Authority follows the recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO)/Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and AABB (American Association of Blood Banks) who recommend that measures be taken to prevent the transmission of vCJD for anyone who lived in the UK, or visited for more than three months, between 1980 and 1996.

"The UK Blood Services has lifted some restrictions so they are able to receive blood donations within their own country, however, they still have to take a number of precautions when screening donors." 

However for those whose blood is in the clear, donations will be accepted from 9:00am – 5:00pm on Saturday and there will be an information booth, a place for people to register and refreshments available. 

A single unit of donated blood can save up to three lives and this year’s theme is about saving blood to save the lives of mothers. For more details see the attached flyer.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Here is the link with all the information to answer the many questions on this string.


  2. Anonymous astir says:

    It's obvious that this story is incomplete. In addition to the "British" Mad Cow how about age restrictions? Blood donation is a worthy act of public service.  

  3. pmilburn says:

    Could someone please tell me if they will take blood from someone who has the rarest blood type?ABRHneg?I have it and also my son and I am willing to do my part just in case its needed.There are a few more on the island that I am aware of so it would be good to at least add these names to a "list"just in case.

    • Anonymous says:

      AB's can only give to other AB's.  Lucky for you both in that you can accept blood from anyone.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is HSA blood ending up at Health City? 

    HSA needs to clarify if they are supplying,or proposing to supply, blood to Cayman Health City.  Why should blood collected from Cayman resident volunteers be supplied for "Medico Tourism"?   Heart surgery is reported to require around 8 pints of blood to be on standby..so if the daily supply of blood at HSA is only around 40 pints that means 20% of daily blood supply!



  5. Annie says:

    I used to donate regularly, but stopped due to difficulty with the process. I just hope HSA staff doesn’t subject donors on this drive to rudeness and apathy.

    • Hancock says:

      I gave blood once but walking around the town with an empty arm was quite embarrassing.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Can we make it aholiday. Can we get paid 

  7. Anonymous says:

    Tony Hancock's Half Hour – "The Blood Donor", right? Thank you CNS!

  8. Knot S Smart says:

    It looks like my last ex-wife wont be able to give blood then – because she was really a mad cow…

  9. Anonymous says:

    HSA need to clear up the issue whereby some former UK residents from a certain period of time cannot be blood donors. If it is OK in the UK why not here? HSA is losing out on plenty of blood, including mine, which is actually a universal match! I was a donor before moving here!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, I got the same response myself. I'd like to donate but am presently prohibited from doing so. This needs clearing up for sure.

    • Pit Bull says:

      Surely everyone would want some British blood flowing through their veins.

      • Anonymous says:

        Be still my soul and let my thumb arise -Pit Bull is still with us and on excellent form too.

    • Anonymous says:

      My husband and I were donors when we were in the UK in college 30 years ago and continued to do so when we returned home to Cayman. Several years later they stopped taking our blood because we had lived in the UK for more than six months and we have not been able to donate since. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    In the past they've stated that they won't accept blood donations from anyone who visited the UK for more than a month from 1980 to 1996 (due to potential mad cow disease exposure). Is that still the case? I was in the UK for University from '91 to '94 so have always been ineligible for these blood drives…I'd like to think at some point they'd either come up with a test that could check if a donor had acceptable blood or just get rid of this restriction (its 2014 now, if I had mad cow disease I'm guessing it would have been apparent in the last 20 years!)

  11. Anonymous says:

    I heard the Blood Bank rep Mr Brown say in radio this week that they buy blood for $500 to $1,00 per pint from overseas!

    Sooo then – why not help out the unemployed youths of Cayman by offering them a few dollars when they donate blood??

    It might also serve to open their minds to staying off drugs etc.. to keep their blood 'clean'.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who is Mr Brown?

    • Anonymous says:

      They would sell their blood and still do drugs. No incentive needed for them. I do not want a blood transfusion for me or my children originating from some drug addict. 

      • Anonymous says:

        And those who give blood for free, or overseas donors, don't do drugs?

      • Anonymous says:

        Who do you think donates the blood in the USA that we are buying? People are paid to donate blood there and you can be sure that hookers and drug addicts donate. 

  12. Anonymous says:

    CNS, will there be the usual ban on anyone from the UK giving blood?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Have they removed their "Mad Cow" restriction yet?

    I went to college in the UK in the early 80's then gave blood for at least 5 years on my return. Then the "Mad Cow" issue happened and they struck off persons like myself who lived in the UK for more than 6 months prior to that issue. Almost 25 years have passed but the rule is still the same.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I have said it before and will say it again. UK citizens are used to giving blood,as soon as we reach the required age it is accepted as something we must do.

    I understand UK blood is not accepted in Cayman as there is not the means to test it.

    Why not? What is needed? Surely between the hospitals this can be figured out.

    Another wasted commodity.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Does the 'mad cow disease' exclusion for UK residents still apply?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Presumably Brits are still barred from giving blood?