Date of fall blood donor clinic changed

FORT FRANCES—The Canadian Blood Services (CBS) is on the lookout for people to give the “gift of life” at its fall donor clinic coming up Sept. 25-26 at Fort Frances High School.
Spokesperson Harvey Heather said Thursday morning that people should note this is a change from past years.
The clinic was to have been held on Wednesday, Sept. 27 and Thursday, Sept. 28, but had to be changed to the Monday and Tuesday due to scheduling with high school events.
“We want to get the word out. People are very much used to us being there Wednesday and Thursday, and that sometimes makes a big difference with people,” Heather remarked.
The clinic will run from 4:30-8:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 25, and then from noon-3 p.m. and 5-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26.
CBS has set a two-day goal of nearly 400 donors, and at least 325 units of blood, for the fall clinic here.
The spring blood clinic back in late April drew 368 donors, with 323 units donated.
Heather clarified the number of donors does not always equal the number of units. On average, just under 15 percent of people who come out for the clinics are advised not to donate (either for their own safety or the safety of others).
“Each of those [units] can help three people, so that’s almost 1,000 people that were helped at that clinic alone,” noted Heather. “The Fort Frances clinic is certainly a very important on for us.”
Heather said interested donors can make an appointment prior to the two-day clinic by calling 1-888-2DONATE (1-888-236-6283) or by visiting www.blood.ca
He noted while the public is welcome to show up to donate on the day of the clinics, making an appointment is highly encouraged.
“If everybody comes in at the same time, it can make people have to wait a little bit longer. If they make an appointment, it goes much smoother for everybody,” Heather remarked.
“We appreciate if they can make an appointment. However, some people just aren’t able to do that and if they walk in, we’ll gladly try and get them through,” he added.
Heather said CBS would like to see new donors over the two-day clinic here—not only to meet the increasing demand for blood, but to help replace any past donors who no longer may be able to donate due to health reasons or possibly having passed away.
Canadian Blood Services looks after 91 hospitals in Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. About 1,700 units per week are needed to meet the demand, with CBS trying to keep enough on hand to supply each of them for four days, noted Heather.
As people are living longer these days, more blood is needed for surgical and transplant procedures, he added.
A 2005 survey of Canadians showed 52 percent of people either personally required, or had a member of their family require, donated blood in the past year while 75 percent at least knew someone who did.
But only four percent of eligible donors in Canada give blood.
The rate is between five and seven percent for residents of Great Britain and New Zealand.
(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)

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