It’s our time to give
Canadian Blood Services, The Telegram team up to Save Lives
Blood donation is ground zero for treating a litany of medical issues.
Whether you were in a car accident, a child or adult with leukemia, a premature baby in neo-natal ICU, a dialysis patient or someone who has had a cardiac surgery, blood products are required to help save these lives.
“Everybody should give blood,” Dr. Lucinda Williams, a hematologist for Eastern Health and Memorial University said.
“It is easy to give blood and it doesn’t take that long,’’ she added noting it could be anyone of us at any time requiring a blood product.
She said Newfoundlanders and Labradorians lead the way each year in giving blood, but statistically it is only a small portion of the population who are donors, around two per cent.
So where are the rest of us?
“There is a large number of people out there missing an opportunity to help,’’ Whitman said.
“Increasing the pool of blood available is important to people who require it.”
For the 8th year on a row, The Telegram is partnering with Canadian Blood Services in The Telegram Saves Lives blood initiative. The blood drive kicks off this morning, Oct. 13 and runs through Oct. 21.
The campaign — which has received international recognition — is held annually to generate blood donations and raise awareness of the ongoing need for blood.
To date, it has resulted in well over 1,000 blood donations.
The Canadian Blood Services location at 7 Wicklow St. is open today and Saturday, and from Tuesday to Saturday.
Whitman said Canadian Blood Services is always in need of O negative blood. It is the one type from all the blood groups that can be given to any patient.
She said approximately 40 per cent of residents in this province have O type blood and 15 per cent are O negative among Caucasians.
She said there are people who give on a regular basis and others who participate in a blood drive following a big disaster.
What she would like to see is a larger cross-section of society stepping up and being part of the group that makes regular blood donations.
As an example, Whitman said red cells only last for 42 days. If they are not used they expire and have to be replaced.
“If nobody donates, the supply runs out.”
Approximately 21,000 people were given one or more fresh blood components in the province in 2015. Those components, all derived from one unit of blood donation includes red blood cells, plasma and platelets.
Of the 21,000, approximately 15,000 were red cells and 8,500 patients were given either fresh components or fractionation products. Blood fractionation is the process of processing whole blood to separate it into its component parts, typically done by centrifuging the blood.
Contact a representative of Canadian Blood Services at 709-758-5300 for any questions about donation.