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County needs more blood donors

Prince Edward County needs 288 more blood donors.

Debbi Barfoot, on behalf of Canadian Blood Services, is addressing councillors at Thursday’s Committee of the Whole, the need for blood at this year’s donor clinics.

Donations at Picton’s clinics over the past year consistently fell short of target collections. Of five clinics last year, four with a target of 115 units saw 96 donations at the best attended clinic and 76 at the lowest attended clinic. The target of the final clinic was reduced to 96, and there were 101 units collected.

“It’s about the power of connections to keep Canadians living,” her report states. “It’s about the something we can do today, knowing that because of us, someone else is waking up healthy tomorrow.”

Barfoot is asking council to proclaim the month of June as ‘Prince Edward County Blood Donor Month’ to raise awareness. She requests support through communications – adding mobile donor centre event dates to newsletters, websites and social media, along with advertising on signs.

Her report notes less than four per cent of eligible Canadians donate. The need for blood is constant for cancer patients, transplant recipients, accident victims. Plasma collected is used for burn victims, trauma patients and people with brain and blood disorders. Stem cells help patients with leukemia, lymphoma, anemia.

“Over 80 diseases and disorders can be treated with a stem cell transplant, yet fewer than 25 per cent of patients who need stem cell transplants find a compatible donor in their own family. The rest must rely on the sincere generosity of donors.”

“Half of all Canadians will either need blood, or know someone who needs it.”

She also hopes to see a group donation from the mayor and council at the clinic Monday, June 10.

This year’s clinics, hosted by the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., are set for:
Mondays on April 15, June 10, Aug. 12, Oct. 14 (site to be relocated) and Dec. 16 at the Prince Edward Community Centre.

More information on eligibility, or to book an appointment online, at blood.ca

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