Ponoka blood donor clinic exceeds expectations, need remains high

You can make saving a life your greatest gift this holiday season

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The Canadian Blood Services (CBS) mobile donation clinic that as held at the Ponoka Legion on Dec. 14 more than reached its goal, which will go a long way to ensuring CBS will have an adequate blood supply.

Organizers were aiming for 96 donations and received 97.

“The over-achievement is not at all surprising for any mobile donation events that we have in town,” said Marissa Stryker, territory manager and donor relations for CBS.

“Donors in Ponoka are always incredibly generous and ready to roll up their sleeves. We are so grateful for all the people who came to the Legion to donate blood and all those who showed their support through bringing awareness of the importance of blood donations for local patients.

“Many of us can feel isolated during this time of pandemic restrictions, but volunteer events like these can help our community feel more connected.”

The next CBS clinic in Ponoka will be on May 10, 2021 at the Legion.

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In a Dec. 15 press release, CBS called on all eligible blood donors to give blood to support lifesaving care for patients over the holidays.

There is an immediate need to fill over 15,000 appointments across Canada by Dec. 31, according to the release.

CBS says lost collection opportunities over the holidays could mean a shortage of platelet inventory as it has a short expiry period. Platelets are used to treat cancer patients.

“The COVID-19 pandemic will weigh heavily on donors’ thoughts and behaviours this year, but the need for blood remains the same,” stated the release.

CBS asserts that donor centres remain open to allow Canadian Blood Services to continue to provide essential products and services for patients throughout the pandemic and leaving home to give blood is allowed even during lock down.

“Safety is our highest priority. Enhanced wellness measures are in effect throughout all our donor centres to ensure the well-being of donors and our teams is safeguarded,” said Rick Prinzen, CBS chief supply chain officer and vice-president of donor relations in the release.

CBS says “By scheduling an hour of time to donate this holiday season, you can make saving a life your greatest gift.”

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