VOLUNTARY BLOOD DONATION AT BRTTH
In celebration of National Blood Donors Month, the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital – Public health Unit (BRTTH-PHU) and Blood Bank Center spearheaded a Voluntary Blood Donation drive on July 30, 2021 at the Bicol Regional Blood Center (BRBC). The whole-day activity yielded 19 units of blood (17-complete; 2-incomplete) composed of all four blood groups from 25 willing volunteers.
Lining up to give blood were new and repeat donors – employees of BRTTH and walk-ins from the community including members of the Bureau of Fire Protection and Philippine National Police. Information dissemination about the drive had been made through social media and through a radio guesting at 104.3 DWAY FM with BRTTH Health Education and Promotion Officer Mr. Kenn Brian A. Perez who discussed the importance of blood donation, explained the requirements, and appealed for volunteers.
Although many were eager to give blood, they first had to meet the criteria for donors, receive counselling from assigned PHU and BRBC staff prior to signing the consent, and pass the medical assessment before undergoing actual bloodletting performed by BRTTH Laboratory and BRBC medical technicians and nurses trained for the procedure. Medical assessment of donor participants was done by Dr. Marcelina A. Mestiola Head of the BRTTH Blood Bank, and Dr. Alan Lucañas, Administrative Head of the BRBC. Included among the volunteers that did not qualify for screening were those that had recently undergone vaccination.
The blood donation drive followed a previous one held last June 14, where 47 units of blood were collected (45-complete, 2-incomplete) out of 73 donors. June 14 is World Blood Donor Day, a yearly observance by member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) as initiated by the latter together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies “to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood.”
In the Philippines the celebration lasts a whole month in accordance with Presidential Proclamation No. 1021, S. 1997 that declares July of every year as National Blood Donors Month. The proclamation expressly states that “assurance of adequate supply of volunteer-sourced human blood depends on a sustained promotion of the advantages of voluntary blood donation” and encourages resident Filipinos to assiduously join blood-letting activities. BRTTH is an advocate, initiator, and active participant in voluntary blood donation programs.
BRBC medical technicians and nurses together with new and repeat donors during the bloodletting procedure.
A new blood donor with Dr. Marcelina A. Mestiola, MS III during the medical assessment.