HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh says the National Blood Bank was fully operational during the entire Carnival period and operates on a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week schedule.
He was responding to a question in the House on Friday from Oropouche West MP Vidia Gayadeen-Gopeesingh on a report that on March 21 a 72-year-old woman died at the Port of Spain General Hospital owing to the closure of the Blood Bank over the Carnival weekend.
He said the Port of Spain Blood Donation Centre was closed for Carnival as usual owing to its proximity to Carnival activities.
However, he said, “This did not affect the ability of hospitals, both private and public, to source blood supplies from the National Blood Bank. And as a result I am advised that no patient was adversely affected by a lack of blood supply during the Carnival period.”
He pointed out that the Port of Spain Blood Donation Centre is not an emergency service, but blood supplies were available during the entire Carnival weekend at the National Blood Bank and at donation centres at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex and the Sangre Grande Hospital.