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Fall blood donor clinic underway

Canadian Blood Services is encouraging district residents to give the “gift of life” here today and tomorrow during its fall blood donor clinic.

The two-day clinic, being held at Fort Frances High School, runs today (Sept. 10) until 8:30 p.m. and again tomorrow (Sept. 11) from noon-3 p.m. and 5-8:30 p.m.

CBS spokesperson Harvey Heather said Monday there’s a definite need for blood donations at this time of year.

“Although we’ve exceeded our collections since the beginning of April by 5,400 units across the country, we’re still about 4,000 short of what the hospitals are ordering,” he warned.

“This shows the hospitals are ordering more, and that we’re needing more units of blood in the summer coming into the fall.”

“Shortly after a long weekend, it’s always a concern to build up our inventory again to make sure that blood is there for all the patients in need,” Heather stressed. “So we certainly are hoping for a really good turnout in Fort Frances.”

Heather said CBS is looking for about 370 donors over the two days in hopes of yielding at least 280 units of blood.

Last fall’s blood donor clinic here saw 412 donors over the two days, who donated 345 units—43 above the quota.

Meanwhile, the spring blood clinic here back in April saw a total of 411 district residents donating 362 units of blood, which was well above the two-day goal of 380 donors (300 units of blood).

Heather said it’s not too late to make an appointment to give blood at the fall clinic. Just call 1-888-2DONATE.

CBS also will try to accommodate walk-ins, but making an appointment beforehand is preferred. Those who make appointments also are encouraged to call and cancel if they can’t make it, or send someone else to give blood in their time slot.

“Close to 90-100 donors may not come in for their appointments, which is a concern for us.,” he admitted. “All we ask is if somebody is not able to make their appointment, find someone else to come in their place, or if they have to, call our number and let us know and hopefully open up that spot for other donors.

“We certainly do count on people, if they do make appointments, to honour that if they can,” he stressed.

CBS is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the blood supply in all provinces and territories outside of Quebec, as well as oversees the Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry.

On average, about 1,200 units per week are needed to meet the demand for blood, with CBS trying to keep enough on hand to supply each of the hospitals for four days. One unit (donation) of blood can benefit up to three patients.

Given people are living longer these days, more blood is needed for surgical and transplant procedures. The need for blood is rising an average of two percent each year.

More than 90,000 new donors will be needed this year to meet the rising demand for blood and blood products.

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