Canadian Blood Services is calling on Greater Napanee residents to roll up their sleeves and donate at their next mobile clinic, May 31 at the Strathcona Paper Centre from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
As temperatures start to rise, so too does the need for blood. Add that to the fact that donations have been declining in the area and the result is a desperate need for volunteers to answer the call.
Debbi Barfoot, territory manager for donor relations with Canadian Blood Services, says there’s currently 100 open appointments for the May 31 clinic. That’s concerning, as it means the clinic is at risk of once again falling short of their goal of collecting 115 units.
“Every minute of every day, someone needs blood,” said Barfoot. “There’s always a need. There are seasonal periods that we struggle with and one of them is the summer. During the summer months kids are out of school, parents are taking vacation and with increased travel on the highway, that leads to a higher percentage of traffic accidents.”
A car accident victim could require up to 50 blood donors.
To help meet their target in Napanee Barfoot is encouraging the 700 plus local previous donors who haven’t given blood in the last year and half to consider returning. First time donors are also welcome.
To get started first time donors can log onto Blood.ca to take the online eligibility quiz. If they meet those requirements, they can make an appointment by calling 1-888-2-Donate, online at Blood.ca or by using the Canadian Blood Services app. Once an appointment is made, they’ll show up to the clinic and meet with a screening nurse. They’ll answer a few questions, have their blood pressure taken and have their hemoglobin levels checked. Once everything’s good to go, it’s off to the bed to donate, which typically takes 10-15 minutes. All told the entire process is about an hour.
“What I hear over and over again, I can’t donate, I tried to donate 10 years ago,” said Barfoot. “How I respond to that is you really need to check eligibility because we’ve changed our criteria in 10 years numerous times.”
The May 31 clinic is one of six that will take place this year. Mobile clinics are held in Napanee every two months.