Car crashes, cancer, diseases: They happen every day and those affected need blood.
And there’s a way students can help those in need.
Canadian Blood Services (CBS) is holding a blood donor clinic at Durham College and UOIT on Thursday, Feb. 8 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
CBS’s visit to Durham College is a regular stop for the organization, according to Laura Ashton, event coordinator for Oshawa and Peterborough’s clinics.
“Canadian Blood Services holds a blood donor clinic every fall and winter semester on campus. This has been occurring for many years,” says Ashton. “We [also] visit local high schools in the area and we hold a blood donor clinic at the Trent University and Fleming College campuses.”
The process requires 5-15 minutes as donors lie down as blood is collected from a needle put in their arm, and are allowed to take their mind off the process, by chatting or reading.
Every donation amounts for 450 ml of blood, about the size of a red beverage cup.
Donating that much blood in one go is not generally harmful, CBS says.
“Most people feel absolutely fine after donating blood,” says information on the CBS site. “Even if you feel great, it’s important that you look after yourself for the rest of the day and drink plenty of fluids. You’ll also want to avoid strenuous activity for 6 to 8 hours.”
CBS encourages donors, as they are currently facing a blood shortage.
There are eight types of blood a human body may produce. Five of them are, according to CBS’s National Inventory, currently below a supply of eight days, which is when donations of those types are especially needed for patients.
In order to be eligible, you need to be at least 17 years old, be in health that allows normal activity, and meet their height and weight requirements if not yet above the age of 23.
Individuals require blood every day. According to CBS, if a hospital patient is in need of heart surgery or cancer treatment, they are in need of around five different blood donations. If there’s a surviving patient from a car accident, it is 50.
For patients diagnosed with leukemia, it is eight donors a week for their treatment to work. Leukemia is a blood cancer that has, according to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, a 42 per cent chance of death for diagnosed men, and 41 per cent for diagnosed women.
Blood donations may also go into research to decrease or eliminate blood infections for future patients. In 2017, CBS was able to use their services for more than one scientific discovery.
They were able to discover new causes of FNAIT, a miscarriage for women.
One study came up with a drug called Factor Xa, which can dissolve blood clots in the body without leading to bleeding.
Anyone willing is encouraged to visit the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre gym during on Feb. 8.