Blood do­na­tions hon­our young Bay Roberts mother

Lo­cal mo­bile donor clin­ics sched­uled next month

The Compass - - NEWS - BY JAMESMCLEOD jm­cleod@thetele­gram.com

Around lunchtime Thurs­day at the Cana­dian Blood Ser­vices clinic near the Health Sciences Cen­tre, things were bustling.

Sarah Turpin, a mother of three from Bay Roberts who died Oct. 3 from a sud­den ill­ness, had asked peo­ple to do­nate in her mem­ory.

Roy Sul­li­van or­ga­nized a blood drive held last Thurs­day in St. John’s, which at­tracted almost 150 donors, in­clud­ing friends and fam­ily.

“We’ve seen amaz­ing out­reach from peo­ple in the com­mu­nity, and it’s been un­be­liev­able,” said Sul­li­van

Thurs­day was the first time he’d ever do­nated blood. He said he’s al­ready got his next do­na­tion booked for 56 days down the road, when he’s el­i­gi­ble again.

Those still look­ing to hon­our Turpin’s mem­ory are be­ing en­cour­aged to at­tend up­com­ing mo­bile donor clin­ics in Bay Roberts and Car­bon­ear. The Car­bon­ear clinic will take place Nov. 18 at the Knights of Colum­bus Hall. The Bay Roberts clinic will be held the fol­low­ing day in the Grace United Church Hall.

If you’ve done it a few donat­ing blood is a breeze.

They prick your fin­ger to check your iron. You fill out the ques­tion­naire. They swab your arm and the nee­dle goes in. There’s a cookie and a juicebox wait­ing for you by the door.

But it’s a dif­fer­ent beast for first­time blood donors.

Peo­ple get turned away for low iron and the ques­tion­naire can be in­tim­i­dat­ing.

Jane Casey, who’s do­nated be­fore, said she faints some­times

times,

“We’ve seen amaz­ing out­reach from peo­ple in the com­mu­nity, and it’s

been un­be­liev­able.”

when she tries to give blood.

“Nee­dles make me a lit­tle ner­vous,” she said Thurs­day. “I’m even a lit­tle ner­vous to­day.”

Regis­tered nurse Deanne Dun­phy said that the nee­dle tends to be the fo­cal point for first-time donors.

It doesn’t hurt much, but it does hurt. “Once the nee­dle is in, once it breaks the skin, you don’t feel a thing,” Dun­phy said. “I al­ways tell them, it has to hurt — it’s a nee­dle, not a feather. When we start us­ing feath­ers, it’ll tickle, but un­til then it’s a nee­dle, so it’s got to hurt a lit­tle bit.”

Ear­lier this fall, Cana­dian Blood Ser­vices was fac­ing a se­vere blood short­age. At one point it had only a cou­ple of units of the crit­i­cal O-neg­a­tive univer­sal donor blood on the shelf.

Blood ser­vices goes through ups and downs when it comes to sup­ply — sum­mer is slow be­cause peo­ple are on va­ca­tion, for ex­am­ple — and this fall, it was fac­ing a sit­u­a­tion where a lot of peo­ple were can­celling ap­point­ments or not show­ing up.

The hope is that some of the peo­ple who are donat­ing will be­come reg­u­lar donors, re-book­ing for ev­ery 56 days.

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