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Canadian Blood Services in St. John's hoping for increase in donors after urgent call for blood

Eli Tepas Barba, 10, understands the need for blood all too well. Without blood products, he wouldn’t have the strength to walk or play video games. Eli, from Vancouver, was diagnosed with hypodiploid acute lymphoblastic leukemia last year, and is in remission, but still receives regular treatment.
Eli Tepas Barba, 10, understands the need for blood all too well. Without blood products, he wouldn’t have the strength to walk or play video games. Eli, from Vancouver, was diagnosed with hypodiploid acute lymphoblastic leukemia last year, and is in remission, but still receives regular treatment. - Submitted

Everyone in Newfoundland and Labrador who is eligible to give blood to the Canadian Blood Services is being urged to do so, as there is a vast shortage nationwide.
Canadian Blood Services issued a nationwide call for donations on Tuesday morning, citing the need for more than 35,000 donors by March 10 to ensure all patients continue to have access to the blood and blood products they need.

“We will take both appointments and walk-ins on Wicklow Street,’’ Gord Skiffington, Newfoundland and Labrador territory manager for Canadian Blood Services, said Tuesday.

“We are only about 50 per cent filled right now and we hope to get it to 100 per cent for the next two weeks.’’

Skiffington said the location can handle more than 200 donations a week and, with a flexible staff, they can accommodate those who make appointments or drop in to give blood.

“We are hoping we’ll see more than normal traffic here. We will process all donors and will stay at the clinic to get them processed.”

Over the next two weeks, there are a host of available appointments (see schedule below) where residents can come in and donate blood.

“We are part of the national inventory system, meaning we can import or export blood, whatever is necessary. If we have the supply, we can ship it anywhere in the country where there is a need.”

Unfortunately, he said, this province imports more often than not, as Newfoundland and Labrador requires more than 14,000 units of blood per year.

He said it has been a good year for people who come to the clinics, as the weather has been co-operative, but not so in other areas of the country. This means donations are down in those centres and they must rely on those with a surplus to ensure blood is available to those who require it.

The national blood inventory was been depleted during the past few months and it is hoped that as many Canadians — including the residents of this province — will step up and help save a life somewhere in this country.

“Canadian patients rely on blood donors to live longer and healthier lives,” Rick Prinzen, Canadian Blood Services’ chief supply chain officer, stated in a news release Tuesday.

“More than 35,000 donors are needed over the next few weeks across Canada to help meet patient needs this spring.”

In October 2017, The Telegram partnered with Canadian Blood Services on its annual Telegram Saves Lives initiative to help garner donations. This marked the eighth year The Telegram has supported the program, which has helped bring in a total of more than 1,000 donations.

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. Approximately 40 per cent of residents in Newfoundland and Labrador have O type blood and 15 per cent are O negative among Caucasians.
Canadian Blood Services operates Canada’s blood supply, and is one of the Health and Allied Services in St. John’s. It is located at 7 Wicklow St.

To make an appointment to donate, visit blood.ca, download the GiveBlood app or call 1-888-2-DONATE and find a nearby donation site.

Walk in appointments are also available at this and all locations.


When to donate
Canadian Blood Services location at 7 Wicklow St., in St. John’s is open for donations as follows:

Tuesday: 3-7 p.m.

Wednesday: 3-7 p.m.

Thursday: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Friday: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

What we do
Canadian patients depend on Canadian Blood Services to manage a safe, secure and cost-effective blood system. It brings quality to every aspect of the work — from collecting, testing and manufacturing blood, blood components and stem cells to knowledge creation and dissemination to conducting groundbreaking research.
Its role also includes providing the following unique services to Canadians:
• Operating the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network.
• Building and operating Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank.
• Leading national practices, professional education, public awareness and system performance activities for organ and tissue donation and transplantation.
• Managing national patient registries for organ donation and transplantation.
• Bulk purchasing of pharmaceutical plasma protein products.
• Providing diagnostic laboratory testing services in some provinces.
• Conducting leading-edge research and advancing practice in transfusion and transplantation medicine nationally and internationally.

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