Blood Donation with Dr Levy

00:00:00 [music]

00:00:18 Samantha: Hi, this is Samantha and welcome to The Layman’s Doctor podcast, where we’re Bringing Medicine Home. I’m apologizing from now if you have any problems with the audio or hear anything in the background. We’re practicing social distancing in the time of COVID and recording this episode online. Today, I have with me a very special guest, where we’ll be talking all about blood donation and debunking some myths. I’m going to ask Dr. Levy to introduce herself for us.

00:00:49 Dr. Levy: Hi everyone. I’m Dr. Levy. I work at the blood bank. I love everything blood from I was a medical student. I have just been really interested in everything having to do with haematology and oncology. And now, I’ve found myself working with the Ministry of Health at NBTS and that’s where I am.

00:01:14 Samantha: Oh, the National Blood–

00:01:15 Dr. Levy: Blood–

00:01:16 Samantha: –Blood Transfusion Services. Okay. So the reason why I asked you to come on today is because since COVID has been out, I’ve been noticing that there’s been a lot of call for blood donation, especially now. I think it’s because not a lot of persons are going out.

00:01:37 Dr. Levy: Absolutely. So what usually happens is that we have a number of blood drives throughout the month, maybe minimum 15 blood drives for the month, and we go to different corporate entities. And for each blood drive, we can get a minimum of 20 donors. And so that forms our reserve pool because most persons who will come to the blood bank are what we call replacement donors. And so those persons are donating for somebody else, but we still need to have a reserve in the bank for things like trauma, things that may go wrong in surgery. So we have to have a reserve. And with the cancellation of all the blood drives because of the restrictions on public gatherings, our reserve pool, basically, went to zero.

And so we had to make a big call out for persons to come out. We didn’t have a big social media presence before, but we thought that it was absolutely necessary in this time to kind of up our social media presence and get persons to come out. And, thankfully, it has been working. We are not where we want to be, but we are so grateful for our donors who come out.

00:02:54 Samantha: Oh, I actually never knew that. I didn’t know, one, that you guys actually did blood drives as much. I mean, I’ve been to a few, but I didn’t know that. And I didn’t know that when we go to the blood bank, it’s mostly replacement. So replacement means that someone has asked me to donate blood on their behalf, so I’m going to donate, versus me voluntarily donating.

00:03:21 Dr. Levy: Correct. So there’s a difference, as you said, between a replacement donor and a voluntary donor. And so our replacement donors are persons who come in to donate for somebody else. So it’s just like any other bank: you make a deposit and there’s a withdrawal. So with the replacement donors, we are so grateful for all our donors, but replacement donors are, basically, persons who come and donate blood. They make a deposit so that somebody can withdraw from the blood bank.

But our voluntary donors now, those are the persons who come in; they’re not donating for anybody. These are the persons who we would normally get from our mobile drives. They form our reserve pool. So without having the mobile drives and without having our voluntary donors, our reserve pool is almost zero. And that is the major, major, major problem that we’re having right now.

00:04:14 Samantha: Okay. So when I went to donate the other day – I think it was earlier– late March, early April – one of the other donors that were there – this was at UWI’s blood bank – they were, basically, like, “Why is it that you have to volunteer? Why is it that there’s no incentive to giving blood? Why isn’t it that, maybe– like get paid or get, just, some type of incentive for going and giving your blood?” I’m not sure if my explanation was right, but, basically, what I said was that when it’s voluntary, the quality of blood that you get is the best. I think I had read somewhere on WHO back in fourth year when I was doing one of our research projects. So why is it that there’s no incentive?

00:05:00 Dr. Levy: So that is absolutely true. So we do not incentivize blood donation in Jamaica because we want to make sure that we have a safe blood supply. By incentivizing the blood supply, meaning either with cash or something like that, you get persons who need the cash and will do things to their body to bring up their blood count or to make sure that they’re able to donate blood. And we are not about that. We want to maintain a safe blood supply, and that is our number one priority, which is why we don’t incentivize blood donation. It’s a completely voluntary process even though, as I said, we do separate the donors into voluntary donors, meaning that you’re just giving out of– just because you want to give, or a replacement donor where you’re giving for somebody else.

00:05:57 Samantha: Okay. I think this is a great time to then segue into– persons might be listening to this, either they’ve never heard of blood donation or they just were never interested in it. I might be thinking, “This is something I could do.” What are, maybe, some of the– how do I phrase this? How do you know that you can–

00:06:21 Dr. Levy: –school drives where we have 16 year-olds. But they have to have parental consent, and you have to have an adequate haemoglobin level. When you are donating blood, one of the things that happen is that you get a finger prick and we drop it in a copper sulphate solution to test the quality of the blood. And once your haemoglobin is above 12.5, you’re able to donate. Persons are able to donate every three months and that is because of the lifespan of the red cell, is 120 days, which is three months. So we expect that once you’ve donated, you would’ve made up back that supply within that three-month period so that you’re able to donate again.

00:07:04 Samantha: All right. So there was just a little bit of a break up there, but basically, for the part that wasn’t clear, your haemoglobin, that’s your blood count, how much blood you have in your body, has to be at a good level in order for them to take some. And then you can donate every three months because by that time, it’s expected that all the blood that you’ve given the three months before would’ve been replenished, based on how long the blood cells can survive in or can live in the body.

00:07:34 Dr. Levy: Correct. And you must weigh over 110 pounds and you must be between the ages of 16– 17, sorry, and 60. You can donate at 16, but you have to have parental consent.

00:07:46 Samantha: But when I was in fourth year, we did a study on why persons don’t donate blood. And this happened because when I was, I think, in third year, one of my family members needed blood, and I had to ask some of my friends and colleagues to go out and donate. So that was when my interest in doing blood donations and whatnot came to fruition. And from that, I think the biggest takeaways that we got were that people just weren’t, I don’t want to say aware, they just weren’t– they might have known about it, but they weren’t necessarily reminded about it frequently or it just wasn’t at the front of their minds, and that persons are afraid of the process itself.

So you said that– I like now that it’s become, even from before COVID, it’s become more mainstream to talk about blood donation. I think a lot of persons, especially persons with big followings, have become more vocal on saying, “Go out and donate.” Or even when persons– every time there is some big accident or somebody needs a surgery, and you can now go to social media and ask for the public to donate. And I know a lot of times, persons are mobilized by that. And, sometimes, it can end up– I mean, if you have– if I make one post and 20, 30 people go out and donate on behalf of me, it’s sometimes unlikely that I’ll use all of those donors. So it’s good. I get my blood, but also, the blood bank also get some units as well.

00:09:31 Dr. Levy: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. That happens a lot, as you said, especially with accidents or persons who make announcements for persons to donate. The person will definitely receive the blood, but then the other bags will go to other persons who are in need. So it’s not that the blood is wasted because you donated it for a specific person. The blood is used. I mean, we never have blood just laying around for nobody to use, not in Jamaica.

00:10:03 Samantha: That is true. That is true. I mean, just from working, blood donations go on– not blood donations, rather, blood transfusions go on every single day. And then I think what we–

00:10:16 Dr. Levy: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly.

00:10:18 Samantha: I think what we don’t know, or a lot of persons don’t know, is that when I give my bag of blood, it’s not just used—all of that is used by itself. It’s broken down into its separate parts.

00:10:31 Dr. Levy: Correct. Correct. So as a matter of fact, what you donate, we never give that bag back to a person. Whole blood is rarely ever transfused. We break it up into packed red blood cells, plasma, which can either be frozen or stored, and platelets. So we hardly ever have whole blood transfusions.

00:10:54 Samantha: So if we’re going– [inaudible] that we’ve talked about some of the parts– so packed red cells, I think– that one is simple. That’s the part that carries the oxygen, right?

00:11:04 Dr. Levy: Correct. Correct.

00:11:06 Samantha: But what are the other uses because we always talk about if somebody is in an accident or if someone needs surgery. That’s kind of the main thing. But what about for persons who maybe have certain medical illnesses where one part of their– something in their blood is missing and my donation can help that person?

00:11:29 Dr. Levy: So I mean, you have other parts of the blood, like plasma. Persons who, not to use medical jargon, but persons who are, for example, third spacing, and we need to get back– meaning their blood is leaking, basically, out of their vessels and we need to get the blood back into the vessels, you can give them things like plasma, and that will increase the pressure and allow the blood to come back into the vessel. And a lot of persons have– I mean, there are a lot of medical conditions that are associated with third spacing and persons don’t know about it.

And then there’s things like platelets. I mean, platelets are such a scarce commodity. A lot of persons don’t know that it takes nine donors– it takes nine donors to make one dose of platelets, meaning just one bag of platelets. And say, for example, you have a 70 kilogram man, he needs seven bags of platelets. So he would need seven times nine– he would need 54 donors to get his entire dose of platelets.

00:12:33 Samantha: Wait, wait. I am shook [laughter]. I am– no, no [laughter].

00:12:42 Dr. Levy: Yes. Yes. So people think we’re just out here– just, you know, playing– just having fun asking you to come in. No. We need you. Jamaica needs you. You have the gift of life, right? A 70 kilogram man, if for example, he had a platelet dysfunction and he was bleeding and we found out that it was platelets that he needed, he would need 54 donors to get one adequate dose of platelets.

00:13:08 Samantha: That’s crazy.

00:13:10 Dr. Levy: Yeah.

00:13:10 Samantha: And the thing is, Dengue is one of those illnesses that affects your platelets like crazy.

00:13:14 Dr. Levy: Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. Exactly.

00:13:19 Samantha: And then it’s not even just Dengue because just going back in my mind, I’ve had so many low platelet– patients with low platelets.

00:13:27 Dr. Levy: But the other thing to consider too is that, when is platelet transfusion actually needed? For example, a person with a platelet count less than 50 but not bleeding. That person doesn’t really need platelets. A person who needs platelets is a person who has a platelet count of less than 10 or 20, depending on where you’re practicing, or a patient who is actively bleeding and you know it’s because of platelet dysfunction. So a lot of person requests platelets, but does the patient actually need the platelets? So that is something that I think there needs to be more communication about within the medical fraternity: who actually needs platelets.

00:14:06 Samantha: Definitely. Definitely because just trying to get– well, just trying to get platelets is really, really difficult because it’s not something that we usually have, and we do go every 10 kilogram is one bag. And I’m sorry, but the average patient is not 70 kilograms.

00:14:26 Dr. Levy: Is not 70 kilograms, exactly. The other thing about platelets too is they expire after four days.

00:14:33 Samantha: Yes. Yes,

00:14:35 Dr. Levy: They expire after four days. So once they’re there, they go.

00:14:39 Samantha: Okay. I like that you brought up that there needs to be more communication because I am really big on that, in not just knowing about my own department, but also other ones. So the lab, physiotherapy, the nursing staff, so on, just so we can understand what is done, and even try and improve how we interact and treat the patient because we are a team. We all make up a part of the patient management team.

00:15:10 Dr. Levy: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely.

00:15:14 Samantha: And I don’t know. Going to the blood bank at my hospital is one of my favourite things because I’ve learned a lot of things. So even, for example, with how to transfuse, the whole FFP with a– it’s getting kind of medical now, but yeah.

00:15:32 Dr. Levy: Yeah. [laughter].

00:15:32 Samantha: Just stuff like that. So knowing how to transfuse, knowing how long to wait, and even the fact of if I don’t– if I can’t get– for example, I am B positive but there’s no B positive blood, that there are alternatives that can be given.

00:15:51 Dr. Levy: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah.

00:15:53 Samantha: So I think education– go ahead.

00:15:54 Dr. Levy: Education, absolutely. Which is why we are so grateful, also, to persons who are O negative because they can give to everybody. So we always are– we always look out for our O negative donors and so grateful for them. And just to go back to the medical side of it and the communication, things like the fact that a platelet transfusion is a bolus and that you should never use a filter bag like what you would do with a packed red cell. I mean, those are things that, sometimes, persons don’t remember.

00:16:31 Samantha: What about FFP? How do you give that? Is it also a bolus or is it over–?

00:16:35 Dr. Levy: You don’t have to give FFP as a bolus. You can give it over a time period. But platelets for sure is a bolus and not a transfusion bag. So it should not be filtered.

00:16:48 Samantha: Oh, okay. Okay. Will it take away, somewhat, the platelets, from the filter [laughter]?

00:16:53 Dr. Levy: It actually will. It actually will [laughter]. Yes, it will. It will.

00:16:59 Samantha: Okay. Well, at least I can speak for my hospital. They do a good job at saying that. So they’ll say it. With the platelets, they’ll be like, “Remember to keep it agitated. Remember to use a–” they actually don’t give you a filter bag. So we don’t keep the blood transfusion set on the wards. They’re all kept at the blood bank.

00:17:24 Dr. Levy: Oh, okay. Okay

00:17:24 Samantha: So if we don’t get it, we– yeah. So if you don’t need it, you don’t get it. And then I know they’d be like, “FFP is with a sliver of ice.” And like, “Okay. Thanks.” But I’m liking– I think that a part from– I think the education is needed on both side of the fence. Jamaica is a population– we fraid ah needle.

00:17:52 Dr. Levy: Yes, yes. We are.

00:17:53 Samantha: And I think that fear of needles can sometimes stop us. And it’s funny because when I was at UWI, again, donating, when I was in the room, at the time, it was only women there and all of them were donating on behalf of somebody else. And I remember one lady saying, “Man, mi fraid ah needle, but she need the blood. I have to do this for her,” blah, blah, blah. So it was like it was this sense of, yeah, even though the needle is there and whatnot, the person, whoever I’m donating for, needs the blood much more than I can be afraid of this needle stick. So–

00:18:36 Dr. Levy: Which is why we get a lot of replacement doors as opposed to voluntary donors, because people are afraid of needles. And it is also why our blood supply is considered one of the safest in the world because Jamaican persons don’t use IV drugs. So, I mean, the fear of needles, actually– it has its pros and its cons. But our blood supply remains safe because we don’t have a big population of persons in Jamaica that use IV drugs.

00:19:10 Samantha: I am laughing so hard at [inaudible] right now. You can’t hear me, but [laughter]. It is so true. It is so true. Just seeing the needle can just– you get the most surprising reactions from person and I’m using– and that’s why when I talk about blood donation, I really don’t– I like to just say, “Yes, and you get a needle stick.” I don’t like to talk about the size of the needle, nothing like that because I’ve found that every time I’ve donated that I’m not encouraged to look at it. I know the size of the needle based on being in medical practice. But whenever I go to donate, you’re kind of– your head is turned to the side, they do a little stick, and then they cover the needle and all your pictures have the needles covered. So you’re not really there to see it. I have a question. Do you think that now that– though it might be hard because of COVID, but now with social media, not just your personal social media, but other people speaking out and calling out and all that stuff, that we’re seeing more people coming to donate?

00:20:24 Dr. Levy: I definitely think that we have seen an increase in the voluntary donations, absolutely. And I thank the Jamaican population for that because persons are answering the call, and I’m so grateful for it because without the blood drives, we would basically only have replacement donors. And now that we don’t have the blood drives and we’ve been asking persons to come out, they definitely have. And, I mean, we are so grateful because what would we have as a reserve pool otherwise?

00:20:56 Samantha: That’s true. Can we just go through the process? Just walk whoever is listening, the process. What are some of the questions they’re expected to hear? Do they have to do any kind of tests? I know we talked about the copper sulphate test. Is it where you check how much–

00:21:12 Dr. Levy: The haemoglobin.

00:21:12 Samantha: Yeah, what your blood count is.

00:21:14 Dr. Levy: Right. Right. Okay. So once you come to any blood collection centre, you have to have some form of ID. And the first thing that you do is registration. At the Slipe Pen Road branch is where all the cards are kept, and so if you come to donate at the Slipe Pen Road branch, they can actually pull your what we call the yellow card, to see how many times you’ve ever donated in life. But at the other collection centres, you just have a pink card. So you register.

The next thing you do is you go to what we call station two, and this is where we check your blood count, and we check what blood group you are. So you get a small stick on your finger that is dropped into a little solution. If it sinks you’re okay, and if it floats, that means your hemoglobin is not high enough for you to donate. And you can also– at that point, you’re also told your blood group. Once your blood count is good enough for you to donate, then you head around to the donation chair.

In the donation chair, somebody will come to you, and they’re usually very nice because we know that persons are nervous. You have a tourniquet applied, which is, basically, just something tight around the upper part of the arm, and they’ll insert the needle into the antecubital fossa or the inside part of your elbow. And most persons will take about 10 minutes to bleed. Some persons take a little bit longer. It just differs by the person and the size of the vein. And then once you’re finished, you get a light refreshment, usually as a fruit drink. Or if we have, at the time, a Malta. And then you’re advised what to do after donation, which includes no strenuous activity for 24 hours and no heavy lifting on the arm that you gave the donation.

00:23:00 Samantha: So one thing that’s kind of on-trend now is the Keto diet or even dietary things where people don’t eat sugar or cut out parts of their– cut out certain food groups in their diet. Now, most of the refreshments are either a sugary drink or a Malta, something like that. I don’t know if you’ve ever come in contact with someone who says, “No, I don’t eat sugar. I don’t drink sugar.” What are their alternatives to—are they able to donate? And after they’re finished, can they go out and get a refreshment for themselves or they’re encouraged to go and eat something after?

00:23:39 Dr. Levy: Okay. So prior to donation, person should eat within three hours. So whatever it is that you want to eat within three hours of donating is fine. After donating, if you don’t want to have the fruit punch, that’s fine as well. But we do suggest that you have at least a litre of water then, if you’re not going to have the fruit punch, at least a litre of water immediately following donation. And then throughout the rest of the day, we suggest to all persons to have at least two litres of water.

00:24:11 Samantha: Oh, okay. Okay because that was one thing I was wondering because I know quite a few people who are just like, “Nope, I’m not into sugar.”

00:24:22 Dr. Levy: Which is fine because even the Ministry of Health says, “Cut back on the sugary drinks.” So if you don’t want it, it’s not a problem. We just advise that you then have one litre of water.

00:24:33 Samantha: Okay. And so how much blood do you actually take?

00:24:40 Dr. Levy: So we take one pint which– we use the metric–

00:24:44 Samantha: What’s a pint?

00:24:45 Dr. Levy: Exactly. We use the metric system now [laughter]. So a lot of persons know it as one pint, but it’s really 450 mls of blood that’s taken. And the human body has five litres. So taking off 450 mls, you’ll be fine after donation. Most persons are completely fine after donation. They feel no difference at all. Some persons may experience a little dizziness on getting up out of the chair, and we suggest that once they get up, they stand still before they move off. But most persons are fine after donation.

00:25:27 Samantha: Oh. That question was for me, if he couldn’t tell [laughter]. I’ve always wanted to know. I’m just like, “How much blood is in this [laughter]?”

00:25:37 Dr. Levy: Yes. It’s 450 mls.

00:25:44 Samantha: All right. So I think what I– just from being in school to now, I think what’s happening is awesome. I really love the fact that persons who have a lot of influence in Jamaica are using their platforms and speaking out and encouraging persons to go and donate. How do you guys feel about–? Okay. So from what I see, it’s just persons not really having it at the forefront of their mind, saying, “Oh, I’m going to donate. I’m going to donate.”

And then, secondly, it might be inconvenient for some persons, so. I don’t know if at National Chest Hospital they always had the Saturday donation time, but I think that’s way more convenient, I think, for a lot of persons now, rather than the “in the workday” time period that you had. So is there going to be a way where persons who are, maybe, voluntary donors to be reminded that, “Hey, your three months are coming up. You should donate. Come and donate,”

00:26:49 Dr. Levy: Yes. So we’re actually working on that now. National Chest has actually always been open on a Saturday you know. But I–

00:26:55 Samantha: Really?

00:26:56 Dr. Levy: Yes. It has always been open on a Saturday. But I think persons, as you said, have forgotten about it or are not reminded about it. And I think with the big social media push that we’re having now, persons are reminded of all the collection centres, even outside of Kingston. And yes, we are working on a way that we can remind persons that, “Hey, your three months is up. Come in. Time to donate. We appreciate you.”

00:27:25 Samantha: I would love that because it’s– you did it three– unless you set a alarm or such a reminder, really and–

00:27:32 Dr. Levy: You’re not going to remember.

00:27:34 Samantha: Yeah. Because even for me, I try my best to live by example. I try to whatnot. But what I realise when I went to UWI, they told me the last time I had given them blood, and they said the last time I gave them blood was in 2018, and it was to donate, actually, for somebody who I knew off of social media. So I went to go and donate for one of those friends you meet online.

00:27:59 Dr. Levy: Right, right.

00:28:00 Samantha: And I was like, “Wait. What? The last time I donated?”

00:28:03 Dr. Levy: It was that long ago [laughter]?

00:28:10 Samantha: And no, it’s crazy because even when– the only reason why I went was because I was just getting a lot of reminders. I was seeing it on social media; you guys had messaged me; my friend had messaged me. And I’m just like, “Okay, fine. I have the free time.” I had a day off and I said, “Okay, I’m in Kingston anyways. Let me just go and do it.” And it was really the consistent, consistent reminder. And I’m there trying to wrap my brain, like, “No man. I donate at least once a year. [crosstalk] [laughter].”

00:28:44 Dr. Levy: Yeah. Time flies. Time flies. Time flies. Three months will be out like– trust me. Three months will go like that. And you won’t even remember that it’s time for you to donate again. So yes, we’re definitely, absolutely, working on that, to get persons– to be able to remind persons. And we will continue to keep up our social media presence because, as I said, it started because of COVID, because of not being able to do our blood drives, but we will absolutely– because our Twitter page, actually, was just started in March, 2020. And so we will continue to maintain that presence, so persons can always remember about blood donation and how much persons actually need it.

00:29:28 Samantha: I’m glad to hear that. And I’m advocating– you know where I work. I’m advocating for us to have our own– I know we had one. We had one before.

00:29:39 Dr. Levy: Yes, you did.

00:29:40 Samantha: But whoever is listening to this, whoever has the powers, wink, wink. You can hit me up. I want a blood collection centre back at my work place where one of– we’re a pretty big hospital in Jamaica [laughter].

00:29:55 Dr. Levy: Yes [laughter].

00:29:58 Samantha: We are a nice type B hospital that sees thousands of patients. We’re getting a lot of support and help from the ministry. So maybe we can get our own collection site again. I heard we had one already. But we could have a collection site. Also, we have a lot of pregnant mothers that come in and they need their blood donor slips, at least two.

00:30:28 Dr. Levy: Absolutely. Absolutely.

00:30:29 Samantha: So everybody who is pregnant– everybody that’s pregnant, ask two people at least to go out and donate blood on your behalf.

00:30:37 Dr. Levy: I’ll tell you. That’s where we get most of our replacement donors from: baby mothers who need their two donor slips.

00:30:44 Samantha: I can imagine because Obstetrics is something that can go from okay to not okay in a second.

00:30:51 Dr. Levy: In a second. Yeah. Yeah.

00:30:52 Samantha: And I mean, a lot of persons have heard about what happened with Denyque, where she lost 4.8 litres of blood during her delivery. And you just said we have 5 litres.

00:31:02 Dr. Levy: That’s almost her entire blood volume. Yeah. That’s almost her entire blood volume.

00:31:06 Samantha: Exactly. And a comment I saw under the post was, “If, this had happened in Jamaica, where would she have gotten the blood from?” And I’m like, “We know that our blood bank is short, so now, we need to put– what they call it when you’re like– for your country, our patriotic spirit? We need to [inaudible] go and replenish the blood bank.

00:31:33 Dr. Levy: Replenish the blood bank. Absolutely. Absolutely. Replenish the blood bank, yes.

00:31:39 Samantha: We’re seeing one of our favourite artists go through it, and we’re seeing it right in front of our eyes where you can be pregnant one moment and losing almost your entire blood volume. So pregnant women especially, especially, need to ensure that they get their donors. That’s paramount.

00:31:56 Dr. Levy: Absolutely.

00:31:56 Samantha: Everybody going into surgery, get your blood donors. But other than that, even if you don’t know anybody, just go out. Donate. We’re all at home now. During the non-curfew hours, just take your time.

00:32:08 Dr. Levy: Yes.

00:32:09 Samantha: Yes. Oh, all this talk about blood donation and we have not spoken about where we can go and [inaudible] [laughter].

00:32:19 Dr. Levy: Okay. So our donor centres, our blood collection centres are the main blood bank, which is at Slipe Pen Road. We’re open daily from 8:00 to 4:00. Also, at the University Hospital of the West Indies, there’s a blood collection centre there. They are open from 9:00 to 3:00. And on a Saturday, National Chest Hospital is open from 9:00 to 3:00. And then, we have– our collection centres outside of Kingston are the Port Antonio Hospital, St. Ann’s Bay Hospital, Falmouth Hospital, May Pen Hospital, Mandeville Regional Hospital, Cornwall Regional Hospital, and Savanna-La-Mar Public General Hospital. That’s outside of Kingston. But in Kingston, you can check us at the main blood bank on Slipe Pen Road, at the University Hospital of the West Indies. And on Saturdays, we’re at Chest Hospital.

00:33:10 Samantha: Okay. So thank you so much, Dr. Levy.

00:33:13 Dr. Levy: Absolutely. Absolutely. So follow us on Instagram and on Twitter. We are at 1, that’s the number 1, bloodbankja.

00:33:23 Samantha: Okay. Any encouraging words for persons who might be listening to this, but they’re not yet convinced that they– that blood donation is for them?

00:33:32 Dr. Levy: Yes. Blood donation is for everybody. At some point, you may know somebody, or somebody may know somebody who is going to need blood. And even if that is not incentive enough, once you’ve donated three times, you can get a donor card. And once you have a donor card, and if you ever end up in hospital, nobody will have to donate for you because you are a voluntary blood donor and we will pull out all the stops for you. So I’d like to encourage every single person who is able to, who is healthy, who is over 110 pounds, who is between the ages of 17 and 60, come out and donate blood. It is the gift of life.

00:34:14 Samantha: Okay. That was fantastic. Thank you so much for speaking with me about blood.

00:34:21 Dr. Levy: And thank you for having me. Thank you for having me.

00:34:24 Samantha: So for anybody listening that wants to get in contact with me, I’m on Instagram and on Twitter, @thelaymansdr, that’s @thelaymansdr, and you can email me at for a chance to be featured on one of these episodes. On whatever platform you’re listening to this to, please subscribe, leave a comment, and rate. Thank you so much for listening. [music]


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