The first community collection for Canadian Blood Services (CBS) in Prince Edward County since February is slated to take place in Wellington later next month.
Territory Manager and Donor Relations representative Debbi Barfoot told the Gazette its critical the message gets out to potential donors in Prince Edward County that Canadian Blood services has not held a mobile collection event in Picton area since February 10, 2020 due to a lack of availability at the Prince Edward Community Centre. The site that typically hosts CBS for their collection events has not been able to be booked due to the COVID-19 screening and assessment clinic.
“With the assistance of the leadership of the County of Prince Edward, we are excited to be holding the upcoming blood donation event at the Wellington & District community Centre on Monday, August 10th from 2-7 p.m. We sincerely appreciate the community support and understand that the donors who attended the Picton collection events will have to drive to Wellington. We are hopeful the community and good residents of Prince Edward County will support the upcoming collection events being held in Wellington,” Barfoot said.
While regularly scheduled collection activities were cancelled locally in April and June, on a wider scale, CBS put out a call for support in March and have seen a notable increase in national blood donations that has helped maintain the blood inventory in the short term and Barfoot said the organization would like to thank donors for their generosity.
“But this effort is a marathon, not a sprint,” Barfoot added. “As stewards of a reliable, cost-effective supply of blood and blood products for hospital patients, Canadian Blood Services regularly balances hospital demand for blood products with inventory. There is an immediate need for blood as demand is rising fast as hospitals resume procedures that were put on hold due to COVID-19.”
Typically, blood donations often decrease during the summer months as travel, holidays, family activities and changes in routines make it harder for people to find time to donate.
But Barfoot explained the demand for blood never stops.
“The summer season often translates into a higher number of accidents on the road with a greater potential of injuries requiring blood transfusions. It can take up to 50 donors to help save someone who has been in a motor vehicle accident. Blood and blood products are a critical part of everyday medical care including major surgeries, medical procedures, cancer treatments and managing diseases and disorders. As a blood donor you form a vital link in Canada’s lifeline, helping many Canadians wake up healthy each day. Blood is a perishable product with a shelf life of 42 days, so inventory turns over 60 to 90 times a year,” she stated.
While all blood types help patients, there is currently a greater need for O-negative blood because it is the only type compatible with all other blood types. As the universal donor, O-negative blood is always in need.
Increased COVID-19 safety processes and protocols have been enacted by CBS to ensure the safety of staff and donors.
To help protect everyone who enters Highline Hall, face masks have become a mandatory requirement while within CBS donor centres. The public is welcome to bring their own mask, including homemade masks, or they can request one from staff. “We kindly ask that you do not remove your mask at any time during the donation process. You will still be provided with post-donation drinks and snacks and ask that you consume them outside the donor centres,” Barfoot said.
CBS has suspended pre-donation salty snacks and encourage donors to eat something salty prior to an appointment as well as drink 500 mL of water which helps blood volume increase and improves donation experience.
Potential donors will be screened upon arrival which includes receiving a temperature check.
Please refrain from drinking a hot beverage five to ten minutes before arriving to an appointment and you will be asked to clean or sanitize your hands and maintain a two-metre distance from one another.
Download the GiveBlood app and join Canada’s Lifeline. Please call 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283) or book now at blood.ca.