CORNER BROOK Residents of the Corner Brook area can do their part over the next couple of days to help bring the province’s blood supply back up.
“The blizzard that hit the Avalon Peninsula last week resulted in the cancellation of three blood donor clinics and at those clinics we would have collected upwards of 150 units of blood,” said Paul McGrath, Canadian Blood Services manager of public affairs for Atlantic Canada.
“So we’ve been left in a situation ... where we’re hoping to have a very stong turnout at our clinics to help boost our supply of blood and blood products here in the province.”
Blood collected at clinics all over the province is sent to St. John’s where it’s produced into its component parts and then distributed to hospitals throughout the province.
“In advance of the storm we had worked very closely with our hospital customers around the province to ensure that we had their inventory of blood and blood products topped up ahead of the storm,” said McGrath.
He noted that Canadian Blood Services in this province is also part of a national inventory of blood, so it was able to bring in blood from other parts of the country after the storm.
Blood and blood products have a shelf life of 42 days, but with the constant demand, most are shipped to hospitals within five days of being collected.
“Our inventory of O negative blood is a little bit lower than where we would like to see it at this time of year,” he said.
“It’s the only blood type that’s compatible with all others and it’s used in the most critical situations.
“In many situations, whether it’s a car accident or someone undergoing cancer treatment, it takes more than one blood donor to help save a life,” he added.
A victim of a car accident could require 50 units of blood and that equates to 50 donors.
Canadian Blood Services is encouraging donors to come out and help rebuild the inventory by donating at its clinics and mobile clinics.
McGrath said, with existing clinics, Canadian Blood Services thinks it will be able to replenish and have a strong inventory by the end of the week.
Where to donate in Corner Brook:
Canadian Blood Services Clinic, 3 Herald Ave.
Open Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 2:30 p.m. and 4 to 7:30 p.m.
To set up an appointment call 1-888-236-6283 or visit www.blood.ca