SUMMERSIDE – According to Canadian Blood Services, stories like Heather Collicott’s are all too common.
Not a minute goes by in this country where somebody somewhere doesn’t need some type of blood product transfusion, explained Michelle Thibodeau, a communications specialist with the Canadian Blood Services office in Saint. John, New Brunswick.
“There’s so many day-to-day things that require blood products that don’t necessarily cross your mind,” said Thibodeau.
I think that’s one of our biggest struggles, is for people to see and understand that blood is needed constantly. It’s not something that is just in those vague situations – it’s something that is demanded by our hospitals across the province of P.E.I., and across the country, every single day,” she said.
According to statistics provided by Thibodeau, it takes eight units of donated blood a week to help someone with leukemia, five units to save someone who needs emergency heart surgery, two to help someone getting a hip replacement and a whopping 50 units to help a car crash victim.
Donation numbers in the Maritimes are currently holding up well, said Thibodeau, but that situation changes on a weekly basis.
For instance, they had a slow summer for donations, she said.
“We had a challenging summer for sure.”
“At the beginning of it we really found that we were a little behind. But we, in the last several weeks, have had some good, strong collections. But that really goes back to my point that we may have some good weeks … but because that happened eight weeks ago it doesn’t change the fact that the hospital on P.E.I. is going to call us and they’re going to say ‘we need this many units of blood.’”
Anyone who would like to give blood on P.E.I. can do so at any time by setting up an appointment at the Canadian Blood Services clinic in Charlottetown. This can be done by calling 1-888-236-6283.
There are also several donation points set up throughout the year in various P.E.I. communities via the mobile blood clinic.
A schedule of those clinics can be found online at www.blood.ca.