Angry Nate's Restaurant, Rotary Club of St. Croix and Jones Maritime will hold a blood drive for Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Luis Hospital personnel will be set up in the parking lot between Rum Runners and Angry Nate's, according to Nate's general manager Joe Williams.
Williams said he asked Lionel Downer at Marshall and Sterling if he knew anyone in Red Cross who could help with a blood drive, and "turns out he has been involved with blood drives many times before and he said Rotary of St. Croix would back it up."
Downer worked with the hospital to arrange the blood drive, and Williams said he learned that giving blood locally doesn't just save lives but also helps the struggling public hospital save big bucks.
When Luis Hospital buys a pint of blood from Puerto Rico, it costs hundreds of dollars to collect, process, safely store and transport, he said. "I'm told it's close to $300 per pint, but when we get it on island, it's $55 or so, saving almost $250 per pint.”
“They estimate the hospital uses 100 or more pints per month, 12 months a year, so you can see it adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars," Williams said.
In addition to saving lives, blood donors receive a discount certificate of 10 percent at Angry Nate's.