The Ministry of Health offers has denied that a 71-year-old woman of Diego Martin died over the Carnival period because the Blood Bank was closed.
The ministry has also extended condolences to the bereaved family who had claimed that the woman died at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital as a result of inadequate attention by doctors. The woman died on Carnival Monday.
In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Health said the report from the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) indicates that the patient did not die as a result of an inadequate supply of blood.
The ministry said the National Blood Bank of T&T, with responsibility to conduct communicable disease screening on all blood and blood products for the country, was fully operational during the entire Carnival period and operates on a 24-hour, seven days a week schedule.
The ministry said it should be noted that:
• Most major public hospitals keep an internal supply of blood for emergency use
• If this supply is depleted or a specific blood type is required then a request is made to the
• National Blood Bank for additional supply.
• The required blood type was available at the National Blood Bank for required use in this instance.
• The patient was given blood from the internal blood supply of the Port of Spain General
Hospital. No formal request was made to the National Blood Bank for additional blood for this
The ministry said the Port-of- Spain blood donation centre was closed during the Carnival period due to its proximity to major Carnival activities.
It said the centre is not an emergency service and does not affect the ability of hospitals, private and public, to source blood from the Blood Bank.
The standard operating hours of the Port- of- Spain Blood Donation Centre are Monday to Friday from
8 am to 2.30 pm and on Saturdays from 8 am to 2.30 pm.
The Ministry of Health is assuring the population of its commitment to providing an adequate supply of blood to the population and encourages the persons to voluntarily donate blood at any of the nation’s blood donation centres.