31 March 2020
By Mary Bermingham
Yesterday The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr John Sheehan was first in the door to give blood at a special Covid19 Emergency blood donation clinic held in City Hall. During this time when healthcare workers across the country are hailed for their efforts, the IBTS are tirelessly working to maintain the country’s blood supply. Approaching this clinic, Lord Mayor John Sheehan, encouraged the staff of Cork City Council to donate and highlighted the importance of giving blood to hundreds of CCC employees. Last week, the IBTS announced details of changes to their blood donation clinics to meet patient demand while ensuring the safety of donors attending clinics.
Lord Mayor John Sheehan expressed his thanks to Cork City Council staff members and encouraged all regular donors in Cork who can donate blood to do so. “During this trying time we need to continue to pull together and give our support to those who need it the most. The Irish Blood Transfusion Service works tirelessly to save lives 365 days a year, so let us take this opportunity to help those who need it most. I would encourage anyone in the position to give blood to find the clinic nearest to you, the blood that you are giving is a lifeline in emergencies and for people undergoing long-term medical treatment – it just might save a life”.
IBTS Chief Executive Andy Kelly stated, “The IBTS commends the Lord Mayor and Cork City Council for collaborating with our team in Cork on this initiative. They are shining examples of what can be achieved when strong leadership is shown by civic leaders. They have also agreed that the City Hall can be used for the week to facilitate our move to donations by appointment. We would ask that those who have been contacted by the IBTS attend this clinic. By working together we can ensure that blood will be available for patients during this crisis.”
Despite Covid19, the IBTS are not expecting a large reduction in blood usage and will need to collect 80% of their usual supply. To do this, they will need to rely on regular donors to attend the clinics.
IBTS Donor Services Manager, Maureen Gill-Emerson states, “Our donors’ safety is a priority and we are so grateful for their support in helping us maintain the blood supply. Appointments will allow for social distancing and we’ve added further precautions to ensure their wellbeing. There is no substitute for blood. Each blood donation can save up to 3 lives and every donor that comes into a clinic is allowing hospital patients more time with their loved ones.”
The clinic at Cork City Council’s Millennium Hall continues1st -3rd April from 4pm-8pm. Appointments can be made by ringing 021 480 7400 and more information can be found at www.giveblood.ie
1 in 4 of us will require a blood transfusion at some point in our lives.
Every year in Ireland about 70,000 patients receive blood and to meet this demand, Irish Blood Transfusion Service must collect 3,000 donations every week across the country.
Only 3% of the eligible population are actually regular blood donors and the IBTS rely solely on the generosity and dedication of these donors to help maintain the country’s blood supply.