Every cloud has a silver lining. But the opposite applies too. There are unexpected clouds that come with that blue sky, with the summer heat and with the summer festivities.
In the blood donor unit in Princess Grace Hospital there are a swathe of empty chairs. The last thing that is on people’s minds right now is visiting hospital and giving blood. The heat takes its toll too. It saps that extra bit of willpower. Willing donors lack the energy to propel themselves to the maternity wing at Princess Grace where the donor unit is snuggled.
So you can imagine that Doctor in charge of the blood unit, has a seasonal challenge on her hands. Nearly three quarters of patients that receive blood need it regularly. They have either chronic illnesses or are undergoing chemotherapy.
Princess Grace manages to organize 1800 units of blood from donors but needs 5000 throughout the year. So it constantly draws blood from the regional bank (Paca). Doctor’s job is made that much more difficult because quite a few people under the strict health rules, who are willing to donate blood, are not viable donors. The core donor population are those people who are healthy, typically between age 18 and 60 (though you can give blood up to age 70).
Even within the 18 to 60 age group, people who have travelled and had a surgical procedure in Asia, Africa and Latin America or who have been tattooed within the last four months cannot donate under the rules. And due to the risk of HIV a large proportion of the homosexual population is excluded, unless celibate for the last 12 months. There is no moral judgement being made by the blood donor unit; it’s solely a question of ensuring the blood supply is safe.
Monaco could be completely independent and self-sufficient in blood with enough donors. With your help it is possible. If everyone gave three times a year Blood Donor Centre’s blood-bank would have enough for Monaco’s needs. And each time you donate, a needy person has healthy blood for three weeks. Forty-five minutes at the Blood Donor Centre at Princess Grace Hospital, including presenting your identity card and filling in a small questionnaire – that is all it takes. The doctor ensures you are a healthy donor – and hey presto, lives are saved because you cared and donated.
You are most welcome to donate Tuesdays between 8 am and 2 pm or on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 10 am and 3 pm. It is a great gesture much appreciated by the whole community. You are helping lives and saving lives whenever you go to donate blood.