Despite having a brief “pre-faint” moment, second year UVic student Hannah Norris would happily donate blood again.
Norris decide to give blood for the first time Jan. 21 after seeing a note about the days’ blood drive scribbled on the board in her first class.
Every Monday Canadian Blood Services (CBS) closes their Saanich Road location and sets up a mobile donation clinic somewhere on the south island. CBS had six collection stations – or “beds”– operating at UVic, one the largest mobile operations in Victoria. According to CBS Island Territory manager Ann Chabert, CBS usually counts on getting just under 40 litres of blood from 81 donors whenever they setup shop at UVic. They collect about half a litre per person, Chabert said.
“I myself have never needed a blood transfusion, I know that tons of people do and that it can make such a difference in anything,” Norris said after she had finished. “I don’t even know what my blood type is, but if it can help anyone, it’s great.”
“One of the huge advantages with UVic is we also have a target of new donors. Obviously donors age out or get a busy life when they’re in their family planning stages,” Chabert said. “We hope to recruit, find and educate donors to become life long donors after donating at UVic with their friends.”
115 people came to the mobile clinic at UVic, and staff were confident that they would exceed their targets. Still, according to Chabert only 50 per cent of Canadians are eligible to donate blood, and overall only 4 per cent of Canadians are regular blood donors.
Vacation destinations, illnesses, and current medications can affect someone’s ability to donate blood. The CBS website has the full information, and donors who register to give online can save time answering medical questionnaires as they register. That hastens the process at a donation centre, or save an unnecessary trip. Quite often, bans from donating blood are just temporary.
For her part, Norris said she would recommended donating to her friends.
“Just do it and drink water before – I think that’s probably what I didn’t do as much of,” Norris said. “Have a snack, I find flexing your hand helps with the flow as well.”
A full list of mobile donation locations is avliable. UVic students who missed their chance today will have another oppertunity to doante – or donate again – on March 25.