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Cozumel Community Blood Donor Registry
Cozumel Volunteer Connection in partnership with the
Quintana Roo State Health Services

Volunteer Connection is presently working with our community blood bank located in Centro de Salud in three important areas that will benefit all of Cozumel:
  • Establish a viable donor registry comprised of both American and Mexican residents that can be accessed 24/7 in emergency situations.
  • Identify a pool of potential donors who will be available when the Centro de Salud blood bank has a specific need.
  • Work with the medical community to launch a campaign that will educate island residents about the need for altruistic donors and dispel myths about donating blood.
Who benefits?
When you donate blood you give that gift of life. You and your family, friends, and neighbors will all benefit from this important community resource.
How can I register to be a potential blood donor?
The simplest way is by completing our online form. If you would like to register personally, you can stop by the Volunteer Connection office, located at 602-B Rafael Melgar, upper level.

Click on the "Register" button to register as a Cozumel Blood Donor! If you are already a donor you can use the same form to view or update your information.

  Register NOW as a Cozumel Blood Donor ->
What is our current situation in Cozumel?
In January of 2003, Quintana Roo Health Services and the State Center for Medical Transfusion established the island's first and only blood bank. The blood bank serves three state-funded medical facilities and two private clinics here on the island that have elected to participate in the program. The facility's goal is to consistently maintain a blood supply that includes all types.

Donated whole blood is sent directly to the State's Cancun laboratories where it is analyzed, processed, and then returned to the island and stored in the Cozumel blood bank, which is located in Centro de Salud.

When blood is required by any of the five participating medical facilities, a withdrawal is made from the bank and in exchange the patient or their family are requested to re-deposit blood in the future by donating two units for every unit used.

The majority of the Mexican population remains uneducated about donating blood and many believe that if they give blood, they may become anemic or contract some other debilitating disease. As a result, family members almost never reciprocate as blood donors, and there is sometimes no blood available when emergencies arise. .
Is it safe to give blood?
Yes, it's very safe. Each needle used in the procedure is sterile and is disposed of after a single use.
Who can donate blood?

Healthy individuals between the ages of 18 and 65 whom
  • Weigh more than 50 kilos/110 pounds
  • Are not pregnant or menstruating
  • Have not consumed alcohol within 48 hours
  • Have fasted for 8 hours

What is the procedure for donating blood?
  • A doctor will give you a brief exam and check your vital signs.
  • You will be asked a series of standard questions (including sexual history and drug use) used to prescreen blood before it submitted for analysis.
  • If the medical staff determines that you are a viable donor, blood will be collected and sent to the Cancun laboratory. If an in-depth analysis indicates that the blood is safe, it will be processed, returned to Cozumel, and stored in the blood bank for future need.

Is the inventory in the blood bank safe?
All donated blood is subject to the very same kinds of analyses procedures used in the United States, including screening for hepatitis and HIV. Once the donated blood is determined to be safe, it is returned to Cozumel inside a special refrigeration system and then stored at the proper temperature until it is needed. State Health Services staff carefully monitors expiration dates.
How long can the blood remain in the bank?

Donated blood can last up to 42 days at which time it is no longer viable for transfusions and must be disposed of. Cozumel's staff is diligent about monitoring dates and supplies nearing expiration are sent to Cancun where it has a greater likelihood of being used.

What happens when the blood bank's limited supply is depleted and there is a medical emergency?
Hospitals and clinics must revert to the old system where the patient's family begins a desperate search for a particular blood type. Once that person has been located, precious hours may be lost while the donor's blood is analyzed for compatibility and safety -- a wait that sometimes results in the patient losing his or her life.

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