June 22nd, 2024

Canadian Blood Services and first responders campaign for new donors


By Lethbridge Herald on February 2, 2023.

The open donor's lab at the Lethbridge Canadian Blood Services unit. Herald photo by Cal Braid

Cal Braid – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Canadian Blood Services (CBS) Plasma Donor Centre has teamed up with local first responders in an effort to generate awareness and enlist new donors from the city and surrounding areas. Brenna Scott, business development manager with Lethbridge CBS hosted a Thursday campaign kickoff at the centre for their Sirens for Life challenge.

“We’re inviting all different types of first responders to come in the month of February and donate plasma and also help bring in new donors,” Scott said. “We have a goal of 200 plasma donations and at least 100 new donors. We’re really thankful that we have the first responders here to help promote it.” 

CBS is looking for 200 donations solely from first responders during the campaign, which runs Feb. 1-28.

“We have a number of partners who are signed up to compete in the challenge. We have the Lethbridge Police Service, the Lethbridge Fire Department, the Taber Fire Department, the Coaldale Fire Department, and it’s still open if other first responders want to sign up throughout the month and join a nice little friendly competition,” Scott said. 

The participation of public service departments is intended to inspire at least 100 other community members to donate their own plasma. Plasma carries the components of blood throughout the body and plays a critical role in treating many serious health problems. Scott said plasma can be donated more frequently than ‘whole blood.’ Men can donate plasma every seven days and women every 14 days.

She explained the process further, saying, “It’s just that one needle in your arm. The blood will come out and it will spin really quickly in the machine beside you that has a centrifuge. The centrifuge actually spins your plasma out of the whole blood. We just keep your plasma, so the rest of those red cells, white cells, and platelets are all returned back to the donor. So it does that back and forth process until we have a full donation. How much you’re able to donate is based on your height and weight.”

In the rear of the building she pointed to a series of freezers, some with digital displays showing -56 degrees Celcius, and withdrew a sample that was light yellow in colour. 

“Liquid gold, as we call it.”

Those interested in contributing can find more info at blood.ca.

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