The Health Ministry is today denying claims that the blood bank was closed during Carnival, and that a woman died as a result.
According to a newspaper article, the 71 year old patient died after doctors at the Port of Spain General Hospital were unable to access enough blood to treat her for internal bleeding.
The Ministry says a report from the North West Regional Health Authority stated that the patient did not die because of an inadequate supply of blood.
It says the patient was given blood from the hospital’s internal supply and that no formal request was made to the National Blood Bank for additional blood for this patient.
The Ministry also insists that the Blood Bank is open on a 24/7 basis, and was fully operational for the entire Carnival period.
Instead, it says the Port of Spain Blood Donation Centre (which is not an emergency service) was closed during for Carnival, due to its proximity to major activities.