Cornwall’s caring nature shines through at monthly blood donor clinics

January 10, 2013

Blood Donor Clinic

Cornwall has long been known as a friendly and caring community. This is evident on every first Tuesday of every month, when residents make their way to the Cornwall Civic Complex to donate blood.

Carolyn Boucher, Community Development Coordinator with Canadian Blood Services, explained that Cornwall is unique in the fact that it has one of the highest level of donors per capita than any community in Eastern Ontario.

“Donors can only give blood once every two months, so with the high number of donors in Cornwall, it allows for a clinic to be held each month, rather than every two months,” she said.

In 2011, there were 2,516 blood donors from Cornwall and 2,228 units of blood collected.

CBS is not alone when it comes to running a clinic. They depend a great deal on volunteers and sponsors. Mrs. Boucher describes Cornwall volunteers as being “Like no other. The same volunteers have been coming every month for many years.”

Beverly Graham is one of those volunteers. Mrs. Graham has been a volunteer at blood donor clinics since 1972, donating her time each and every month.

“All the clinics I have been coming to for over 40 years have been as a volunteer,” she said.

According to Mrs. Boucher, only 3.8 per cent of eligible Canadians donate blood. Some may not know that one person can possibly save three lives. After blood is taken, it is then divided into three parts, red cells, plasma, and platelets. All three components are used for different medical needs.

“Sometimes it’s someone close you that needs one of these components that changes your mind about donating,” said Mrs. Boucher.

The donor clinics are highly medical oriented and are mandated by Health Canada. There is a screening process that occurs before any blood is taken. The actual procedure to donate blood only takes 7-8 minutes. One can expect to spend an hour at a clinic from screening to the recovery (which consist of some sweet treats to get your sugar level back up).

Any healthy person over the age of 17 can donate blood. There is a demand for all blood types, especially O-. There are only 7per cent of Canadians who possess this universal blood type.

The next blood donor clinic will be held February 5th at the Civic Complex from 12 pm to 3:30 pm and 5 pm to 7:30pm.

For further information, visit www.blood.ca.

Story and photo by Tammy Larin 

 

 

 

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