They want to suck your blood, but they’ll give you a drink and a snack afterwards. The Canadian Blood Services Bloodmobile is coming to Langara on Feb. 3, giving students, faculty and the surrounding community a chance to donate blood.
Currently there are only three Bloodmobiles operating in Canada, one of which is based in Vancouver. Its goal is boosting the volume of donations through awareness, when many people don’t realize the importance of donating blood and the positive effect their donations can make in someone’s life.
It takes about 50 donors to collect enough blood for the victim of a car accident. Patients battling leukemia need around eight donors a week, said Stephanie Scott with CBS.
Shortage of blood in B.C.
There are several challenges concerning blood donations. Scott said British Columbia is currently importing blood from Alberta because there are not enough donors to meet the needs of local hospitals. Last year roughly 30 per cent of Canadians said they would donate blood but the actual numbers were less than four per cent, she added.
“Most blood donations are used within five days. It does have a shelf-life of 42 days,” she said. “People think we can just kind of stockpile blood and we can’t. It actually does expire.”
In addition, not all blood types are compatible, and some donors must be turned away for their own safety because of iron deficiencies. People also forget about their appointments or call in sick.
Another strain on the service is that the minimum time between blood donations is 56 days. This year it will take more than 850,000 units of blood to treat patients.
“Our target on the bloodmobile is 36 units of blood, so we usually need to book about 50 appointments to make that happen,” said Scott.
Trade your blood for some free juice and cookies
“The nurses there are very, very hospitable. You feel like a VIP while you’re giving blood,” said nursing student Vincci Chung. “They give you an awesome selection of juice and cookies. You feel like you just went to the grocery store, but they’re giving you everything for free.”
If you are interested in making a donation telephone 1-888-2-DONATE or visit www.blood.ca.
Reported by Lukasz Jonca