Citizens flock to hall to give

There was a hum of low discussion at the Stettler Community Centre as people gathered on Monday, July 7

Even after 50 donations

Even after 50 donations

There was a hum of low discussion at the Stettler Community Centre as people gathered on Monday, July 7, to donate blood when Canada Blood Services held its clinic.

The clinic sees busy service when it comes into Stettler on one of the first Mondays of each month, especially from the nearby Hutterite communities.

Glenn Anderson drew closer to the blood-donation milestone of 25 donations by donating his 23rd unit of blood. He said he began donating blood after growing up watching his dad do the same.

“Hopefully when my son turns 17 he’ll come and donate, too,” he said.

Anderson said that he was proud of his father’s record of donation, which was more than 200 when the elder Anderson stopped donating.

Across the room, Moe Miles hoped to avoid anyone noticing the donation milestone he had made, but the bright white blood-drop donation with a red 50 on it gave him away. He doesn’t remember when he started to donate.

“It’s too bad I didn’t start sooner,” he said. “I think it’s badly needed, and I may need a transfer some day.”

Blood supplies are currently at a five-year low for this time of year, Canada Blood Services said in a press release asking for people to come in and donate the life-sustaining liquid.

All blood types are needed, Canada Blood Services noted, especially types O and A.

“Right now, we’re seeing lower inventory and probably the lowest inventory that we’ve seen at this time of year compared to the last five years,” said Kristina Guénette, director of communications for Canada Blood Services in Ottawa.

Blood donation requires about an hour from start to finish. Once registered, donors will have a small finger-prick test to ensure their blood levels are high enough to safely donate. Once that’s complete, a brief questionnaire and talk with a nurse is mandatory before donating blood.

Blood donation itself takes only a few minutes, but after donation people are asked to remain until on-site nurses are sure there will be no negative side effects, such as dizzy spells or fainting.

People can donate blood roughly every eight weeks. The next clinic in Stettler is scheduled for August 11.

Though walk-in donors are welcome, Canada Blood Services recommends people phone 1-888-2-DONATE to make an appointment.