Canadian Blood Services set up on campus
Canadian Blood Services hosted a blood drive at the Stan Grad Centre on March 21 as many student donors rose to the cause.
Over the past year, donation numbers have risen through new eligibility criteria implemented in 2016-2017.
“Donating blood was something I’ve always wanted to do,” said first-time donor Samuel Pike.
Canadian Blood Services added six new criteria factors in order to increase donation numbers. The service removed the upper age limit for first-time donors. Donors who were born or lived in seven African countries where the HIV virus is prevalent are now able to give blood, and donors who have been cancer-free for five years are now eligible.
“I never would have expected it to be so rewarding,” said Pike. “I will definitely donate again in the future, especially having Canadian Blood Services set up a clinic on campus.”
The blood donations collected from SAIT student donors and other donors across Calgary have aided in a critical part of everyday medical care, such as major surgeries, medical procedures, cancer treatments and more.
Heart surgeries, car accidents and cancer treatments require up to five donors’ blood, while other types of cancer, such as leukemia, can require up to eight donors.
“I am unable to give blood due to an iron deficiency,” said Jonathan Sing. “I was interested in donating blood a few years ago. However, I was still able to help with the cause.”
Students and Calgarians can help Canadian Blood Services through financial donations and volunteer work.
Citizens can volunteer at clinics, help organize a drive and educate others on the importance of donating blood.
“Those considering donating blood should definitely do it,” said Pike. “The volunteers at the clinic educated me about the impact it has on Canadians who need it.”
“Financial donations and volunteering can be just as important as the blood donations themselves,” said Sing.
Canadian Blood Services received a total of $1,4 million in cash donations over the 2016-2017 year. Out of all the blood donations made in 2016-2017, 62 per cent of the donations went to areas of the greatest need.
The entire process of donating blood takes just over an hour, and blood clinic locations are available across Alberta, with a clinic based in Calgary.
“This will not be the last time I donate, and I plan on encouraging friends and family to consider donating as well,” said Pike.