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Blood donated locally has to be tested in PR- BVIHSA

- said blood ordered from Puerto Rico costs $1,800 per unit
Blood donated to Dr D. Orlando Smith Hospital must be sent to Puerto Rico for testing and preparation before it can be administered to patients. Photo:
Having a larger blood storage unit and upgraded lab equipment will allow the Dr D. Orlando Smith Hospital to test blood locally and will mean a readily available blood supply to hand. Photo: VINO/File
Having a larger blood storage unit and upgraded lab equipment will allow the Dr D. Orlando Smith Hospital to test blood locally and will mean a readily available blood supply to hand. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- One of the major projects of the Rotary Club of Tortola in the current Rotary year is to improve and upgrade the blood bank and storage facilities at Dr D. Orlando Smith Hospital.

There is currently not a full-fledged blood bank at the territory’s main hospital to meet the needs of its patients, including accident victims, cancer patients or individuals who are seriously ill and need blood transfusions.  

Ms Devye Nicholson, Laboratory Manager at the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA), speaking as a guest speaker at the Club’s luncheon meeting on September 15, 2022, said blood donated to Dr D. Orlando Smith Hospital must be sent to Puerto Rico for testing and preparation before it can be administered to patients.

Blood from PR costs $1,800- Nicholson

She said most often when blood is needed, it has to be ordered from Puerto Rico at a cost of $1,800 per unit. Once ordered it takes an average of 1-2 weeks to receive the blood.

Ms Nicholson stated that having a larger blood storage unit and upgraded lab equipment will allow the hospital to test blood locally and will mean a readily available blood supply to hand. In addition, it will significantly shorten the turnaround time to supply blood to needy patients and lengthen the blood’s storage before expiration.

Meanwhile, the Rotary Club of Tortola is currently raising money to upgrade the blood storage facility at the Dr D. Orlando Smith Hospital Laboratory.

One of the club’s first ventures was a raffle that raised $23,000.

25 Responses to “Blood donated locally has to be tested in PR- BVIHSA”

  • WOW (29/09/2022, 07:42) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lord. This is utter nonsense. Wee these facilities here.
    • NezRez (29/09/2022, 08:47) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
      Well, right now Puerto Rico is trying to recover from the hurricane. Why can't they send it to St. Thomas which is right next to us?
  • Just saying (29/09/2022, 07:53) Like (42) Dislike (0) Reply
    In the mean time, we can afford to send delegations to bermuda to see waste treatment, or spend thousands to celebrate some national week of some nonsense- near every single week……..yet we dont have things in places for a basic blood bank to save a life.

  • Theron (29/09/2022, 08:32) Like (7) Dislike (18) Reply
    Enuh, dis fi mek me wonder wa fi breda man, Bigs deh, fi do with fi tax dollars. Dem aguh pon pointless venture, fi waste money left and right. Dem aguh give way money pon COI attorney dat nah know fi law. How many ah we fi remember likkle lawyer bwoy David being fi rude spoil yute bwoy? Now him fi represent wa? Fi mek the kountry look like fi joke star. Same money deh fi spend pon having nuff blood fi available fi deh sick. Mi fi tired ah dis misguidedness pon we money.
    • @Theron (29/09/2022, 10:19) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
      There's no communication until what one says is understood. I don't know who you're reaching with your comments, but I'm fairly sure that your message is bypassing quite a few of us because it's simply too hard to try to decipher/translate what you've written.
      • @@Theron (30/09/2022, 06:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        That trying to speak like Animals language, Is either an aspiring politician, or a member of govt that disagree with this move and lack the courage to say it...
    • resident (29/09/2022, 14:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      english please
  • Arrion (29/09/2022, 08:53) Like (32) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wait! Are you kidding me? We don't have a blood testing system here? By the time you send it away, it could be contaminated by the time the results get back. Are we a THIRD WORLD country here in 2022? With all of the Doctors here, I cannot believe this is happening at such a snail's pace. What is wrong with our islands? Don't we deserve better than this?
  • big show (29/09/2022, 09:01) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply

    Bull sh**

  • Norma Riegels (29/09/2022, 09:36) Like (39) Dislike (0) Reply
    I find this absolutely incredible. Many, many years ago I was very involved with the Blood Bank – in the days of Ms Brewley in the Lab and Dr. Downing. In those days I had lists of every blood type and was often called (at all hours of the day or night) to find out who was available in whatever blood group. Being O negative myself I was often called. My blood was tested on arrival and then if everything was OK they took the pint of blood which after doing whatever is necessary it was given to the patient. Anyway, I do not believe that someone needing blood can wait two weeks for it to arrive from Puerto Rico – they would be dead!
    • lodger (29/09/2022, 14:33) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
      Well said Norma. I cant believe we have gone down hill this much. Does not seem possible.
  • oh boy (29/09/2022, 09:37) Like (23) Dislike (1) Reply

    We spend over a billion dollars in 4 years on mostly b*llsh**that is not really needed

  • wtf? (29/09/2022, 09:46) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply

    This must be a sick @*&%$ joke! The former Minister bragged about spending $12mil on COVID b*llsh** and look at what we are reading here. NO words!

  • INDEPENDENCE ❓ (29/09/2022, 10:40) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Square Peg?? (29/09/2022, 11:57) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Most of the LM's statement is either uninformed or meant to sensationalize and excite.
    The local laboratory is fully equipped to process all donor screening tests.
    Blood is not sent to PR for screening.
    Blood orders to American RC are normally processed same or next business day.
  • rubbish (29/09/2022, 12:55) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    The previous Vaccine Minister was too busy fear mongering people and everything out his mouth was vaccines. And all that millions we supposedly got to fight Covid you can’t see it. We don’t even k ow how much ventilators working and he never saw it as a priority to buy a blood testing equipment.
    A big head for nothing all he did was got a kick out of scaring people. Look at his results now.
  • lol (29/09/2022, 13:04) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    we cant even test blood here? well sah..
  • lodger (29/09/2022, 14:37) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    This lady must have had too much to drink at the Rotary lunch before her speech. She should be called out and if things have got as bad as she says then heads need to roll.
    • Wow. Greed will find away. (30/09/2022, 05:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      This Smells. Someone here has a financial interest in what goes on in Puerto Rico...Why our leaders signed on to this.? OMG. Leadership cannot get weaker than this...Where Carvin and Frazer on this madness.?
  • lol (29/09/2022, 15:21) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    All these millions spent and something as simple as testing blood we cant do? Something not adding up with this article
    • They all must go (30/09/2022, 06:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Every single member in the house must go. They are useless.
  • Why? . Heap a nonsense.. (30/09/2022, 05:52) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    What PR doing that we can't do.? We have some of the best health care workers at BHIHS yet we kept selling them short. .If it's a special machine or a special training invest in it and stop finding creative ways to give away and steal tax payers money...
  • here we go again (30/09/2022, 07:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Another case of health needs having to be finance by donations and fundraising, essentially having to beg for the money because the government does not see this as a priority. Just like commissioning Peebles, and now the VG clinic.

    That said, the article is silent about the volume of transfused blood that is used at the hospital. Quite possibly, it's cheaper to buy 10-20 units a year than it is to buy the equipment, set up a lab, and hire trained people to run it and maintain it. Others have pointed out that testing services could be available in the US VIs, which would allow much more expedient testing.
  • Hhmm (03/10/2022, 11:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I hope the families do not have to cover full cost for this life how the lab here sending samples overseas and you have to pay for it yourself cause NHI don't cover any part.

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