Cabo’s First Blood Bank Opens

For real this time, the last announcment was jumping the gun

OK listen up one more time. This time all the ducks are in a row and all the legal hoops have been jumped through so our blood bank is a done deal.

H+ hospital, (yes, that’s actually the lame name of the hospital), has built the blood bank, obtained the government credentials they need, and they are in the process of making alliances with other area hospitals to “trade” wink, wink, blood and blood products. It will provide blood, platelets and plasma under international standards.

Just as in the States, it is illegal to sell blood here, but it is legal to charge for siphoning it out of the donors and processing it. Hey, this is not like bottling Coca Cola you know. Care must be taken with blood and that’s costly.

There are 250 Blood Banks in Mexico and only 3 in the State, but the Hospital H is the only one that is private.

Normally in the public hospitals in Los Cabos, blood samples have to be sent  to La Paz to be approved. The hospital H + blood bank has all the equipment to do it right there.

Car accidents and need for blood as a result of these are the third cause of death in the state, accounting for  2,700  goners per year.

So now the bank needs filling, so now it’s time for you to swing by H+ on the fourlane, almost to San Jose, behind the Pemex, and give till it hurts. Just kidding about that part.  The slogan of the campaign is going to be: Be a Hero! Donate blood. Well, not so catchy, but it tells the story. Adequate. We like, “Starve a vampire, give blood”. Or how about “You’re somebody’s type”. Or a to the point plea like this: “Got blood?” Yeah, that works for us. Or how about “Time for cookies and juice!” Cause you get free cookies and juice after giving. Or maybe here it’s a taco and cerveza.

The need for blood here is  around four of those baggies  a day. The new blood bank is able to process  from 10 to 15 packs a day to any hospital that requires it, private or public. It has to be through an agreement, if the hospital that needs the blood didn’t sign the agreement, it won’t be able to get the blood. Also each hospital that is going to use the blood for transfusion has to have a special license  from the Health Ministry.

The shelf life  of human blood is 42 days, if stored properly, therefore, the campaign is going to be controlled so they don’t siphon out of volunteers more than they think they can use in that time.


So, if you’re hit by a truck on the fourlane, try to wheeze out, “Take me to H+”  before you pass out, and you have your best shot at waking up again on this side of heaven.

But right now H+ needs you. Yes, you, Bunky, a foreigner, because they need to get this blood bank filled with blood. Yours is sought after for two reasons:

One), North Americans and Northern Europeans are more likely than Mexicans to have the universal donor type O-. It is only found in 9% of North American donors and rarely found in Latin Americans.

Two) Trying to get a Mexican to donate blood is like trying to get blood out of a stone. They just don’t have a culture of donating their life’s juices. They are not so familiar with the procedure, and they think if they ever do need it, their family will pony up for them at that time.

So, Gringos, until this changes, as it surely will, you will need to get the ball rolling with your blood. And you can do this every 56 days, so hurry back. The cookies and juice they pass out after are delish, and this is the perfect time to get a tour of the spiffy new hospital, as they love touring people. H+ is on the fourlane at km 24.5 next to the Pemex and the new Hampton Inn. Tel 624 155 1483 or visit www.


Does This Give You The Willies?

For starters, a squeaky clean sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then it’s tossed.

The whole process is a simple four-step deal: registration, medical history and mini-physical, the blood draw, and then the treats.

Every blood donor is given a little check up, looking at your temperature like your mom used to do when she thought you were faking the flu to get out of school. Then your blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin are taken. The first two are no big deal, and the hemoglobin test is just a little needle prick, nothing like you’re going to get if you pass all the tests and they go for that pint of your blood they’re after.

The actual blood squeeze typically takes about 10 to 12 minutes. For the entire process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, plan on about an hour and 15 minutes. They don’t like you to squeeze and run, as you could become a little light headed. They ply you with cookies and juice and expect you to dawdle over that until they’re sure you’re up for driving home.

The average adult has about 10 pints of blood and they only take about one pint. That’s 10% Bunkie. A healthy donor can donate red blood cells every 56 days, or double red cells every 112 days and a healthy donor can donate platelets as few as 7 days apart, but a maximum of 24 times a year.

All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases before it can be released to hospitals. But they do this later, so if you show up with any of these embarrassments, you don’t have to worry about a public shaming.

Donating blood is so safe that those who donate regularly may experience long term positive health benefits. Giving improves your health by reducing excess iron stored in your body and encourages your body to produce more, fresh blood.

There is no upper age limit to donating, and taking medications does not necessarily mean you are not eligible to donate.