Donations encouraged with summer approaching

June 14th is World Blood Donor Day and it is a chance for people who have donated in the past or those who have always wanted to donate to step up and make a difference.

Annually almost 92 million blood donations are made worldwide to help patients in hospitals with life-threatening injuries or illnesses.

The World Health Organization and multiple partners promote the event and have decided that the 2012 theme for World Blood Donor Day is going to be “Every blood donor is a hero.”

The theme of this year’s campaign to collect blood donations comes from the idea that every person capable of giving blood can be a hero to one or more patients through a simple donation.

The event has been running since 2004 and has been successful with its goals of educating the public and garnering awareness for the necessity of blood donations.

Canadian Blood Services works hard in many communities to collect donations during seasons that are busier for accident victims needing transfusions and throughout the year to keep the blood supply steady.

Kaelyn Smith, community development coordinator with Canadian Blood Services Red Deer, said collections here are around 900-1,000 per month.

“The need is always there and we like to keep the supply constant so that those people planning surgeries know the blood will be there.”

She also said it is vitally important for those people with O-type blood to donate as it is what gets used in emergency situations where a potentially rare blood type could come in and not be able to match right away.

“We want people definitely to give before they go on holidays too because when they leave donating blood leaves top of mind.”

Smith said the summer months are a critical time for blood donors to continue donating.

In conjunction with International World Blood Donor Day, Canada runs its own full blood donor week. “The week runs from June 10-16 and the theme this year is the power of many because it can take many blood donors to save the life of a hospital patient.”

As a part of the theme for this year, Smith said they would like to encourage donors to bring a friend with them.

She said 43% of first time donors came with a friend adding that it can also take up to 15 units of blood to save one person involved in a motor vehicle collision.

For more information or to book an appointment, call 1-888-2-DONATE or visit www.blood.ca.

kpalardy@reddeerexpress.com

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