Blood Donor Program 

Boquete Health & Hospice 

Did you know there are only two small blood banks in Chiriqui which rarely share blood with other hospitals?


Boquete Health and Hospice maintains a blood donor list for use by all residents of the District of Boquete. This list is not published or shared in any way. We also provide guidelines for prospective donors. 


For almost all situations, the ONLY way to receive blood at any hospital is to ask donors to come to the hospital and donate for you at your time of your need. You cannot purchase blood from a hospital, but you can pay someone to donate for you at the hospital. This is not always the safest way, since some people can feel compelled by money to withhold information about their medical histories. In an emergency situation, the staff at the hospital or the firemen will donate blood, but there is often an expense involved.


You can volunteer to donate blood in emergencies by putting your name on the list of people to be notified if a District of Boquete resident needs blood of your type at the local hospitals (Hospital Chiriqui, Mae Lewis Hospital or the Regional Hospital). Your blood type is on your Panamanian driver's license. It may be on your homeland driver's license. You can get your blood typed by paying a small fee at any local lab. The cost is usually $5-$10.


Our confidential list of blood donors is maintained by two volunteers. We will find donors for you, whether you have volunteered to give blood or not.  Giving blood is not a requirement for receiving blood. Our Spanish is limited, so there must be an English speaking contact person.


When you volunteer to donate blood, plan on spending the day in David due to the lab testing needed.


CRITERIA FOR DONATING BLOOD


Criteria for donating blood at the local hospitals:

  1. ​You must be between the ages of 18 and 65. You are generally ineligible when you become 66. In a life or death situation, the doctor in charge of the patient may override this restriction. Send us your information even if you are over 65. 
  2. You must be in the country of Panama for a continuous 6 months. Sometimes we can get this reduced to 30 days.
  3. You may not give blood if you are allergic to penicillin.
  4. Men can only give blood every three months; women every four months. The difference is because men usually have a higher hematocrit that women.  
  5. An active infection or any infection in the last 10 days, including dental, will disqualify you.
  6. A history of the following diseases will disqualify you: TB, malaria, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis of any kind, Chagras Disease, Yellow Fever, sickle cell anemia and diabetis. **** CMV and mononucleosis are acceptable, if not recent.
  7. You must have normal blood pressure. Blood pressure medications are acceptable if your blood pressure is normal when screening in the ER. If your blood pressure drops below normal when you give blood, you cannot give again.
  8. You must weigh more than 55 kilos (approximately 120 pounds).
  9. IV drug users are ineligible.
  10. You may be rejected for having too many tattoos. If your tattoos are over 1 year old, you can usually donate.


Drink fluids before you go. Stop and get something to drink after you have donated to replace the fluid volume.


Risky behaviors for hepatitis and HIV: There is a window of time between the time of exposure to a disease and the time that antibodies will show up in a lab test. Risky behaviors include IV drug use, men having sex with men, any unprotected sex with a man who has had unprotected sex with another man,  prostitution, any unprotected sex, or sex with a prostitute. If you have engaged in these or any risky behaviors, please self-select off the list. You may ask the coordinators questions about this if you wish.   


TO BECOME A BLOOD DONOR


If you meet the criteria, send your name, phone number, and blood type to charl8855@bellsouth.net. Thank you for becoming a blood donor!


TO REQUEST BLOOD DONORS


To request blood donors, or ask questions, please call:

Charlotte Lintz at 6693-5005 or

Tamera Belkenhol at 6623-1877.