by Lucie Roy
Morinville News Correspondent

Canadian Blood Services (CBS) will be back in Morinville next month for their first of six blood donor clinics in Morinville. The Morinville Rendez-Vous Centre is the venue for the clinics, which are put on with the assistance of the Morinville Lions Club and Knights of Columbus St. Anne Council.

According to Canadian Blood Services, 687 units were collected in the eight Blood Drive clinics held in Morinville in 2014. The six events held in 2015 resulted in 512 units collected. The next Blood Drive is Feb. 2 at the Rendez-Vous Centre from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Canadian Blood Services say they need communities like Morinville to rally together because it takes many donors to help save a hospital patient. The donation can touch many lives. It requires up to eight donors a week to help someone with leukaemia, five donors to help someone undergoing cancer treatment, and 50 donors to help someone in a car crash. Surgeries require the donation of blood. Brain surgery (two donors), internal bleeding (two to eight donors), heart surgery (five donors), and two donors each for a hip replacement or undergoing a bone marrow transplant.

The most common blood type is 0 and 0 negative blood is always in high demand because of the number of recipients needing it. 0 negative is the universal donor type because anyone needing blood can receive this type. It is currently the blood type at the lowest level. Other blood types include A, AB, B. These types are often used in emergency situations when they have no time to test a patient’s blood type. Patients with AB+ are known as universal recipients as they can receive blood from anyone.

CBS indicate they need about 170,000 additional donors per year to maintain the national blood supply.

To become a blood donor a person must be in good health, feeling well, and at least 17 years of age on the day the donation is made.

For the safety of the donor and the patients, all volunteer donors will be evaluated to find out if they are eligible to give blood. They must have eaten and had adequate sleep.

If a person is not eligible to give blood they can register as an organ and tissue donor, consider donating cord blood or register with the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network. At any given time more than 4,500 people are waiting for organ transplants in Canada and only a fraction of Canadians are registered to donate.

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