Donor clinic collects 142 units of blood

Canadian Blood Services phlebotomist Heather Dyck (right) tends to donor Deborah Johnston during the blood donor clinic held in Meadow Lake Sept. 4.

by Phil Ambroziak

Meadow Lake and area residents know what it’s like to give from the heart.

Canadian Blood Services was in town Sept. 4 for a routine donor clinic at the Meadow Lake Civic Centre, and participants wasted no time rolling up their sleeves to contribute. At the end of the day 142 units of blood were collected, just shy of the clinic’s 144-unit goal.

“We come about three times a year to Meadow Lake, and 144 units is the average we usually try to collect from a community of this size,” explained clinic supervisor Rhonda Krahn. “That’s usually the amount we get, and sometimes even more. We always get a great turnout in Meadow Lake – we’re never disappointed.”

Among those who donated were Meadow Lake residents Deborah and Ernie Johnston. While Deborah has been a regular donor since early adulthood, this was her husband’s first time taking part in a donor clinic.

“My wife convinced me to come out,” he said. “She says I have good blood, and apparently there are many things it can be used for.”

Deborah Johnston said she participates in every donor clinic that comes to Meadow Lake, and even stops by the clinic in Edmonton whenever she visits Alberta’s capital.

“I’ve been donating regularly since I was 20 years old,” she said. “It’s a free way to save lives.”

She went on to express how proud she was to see her husband donate for the first time.

“I don’t know what was ever stopping him,” she said. “He even has one of the rare blood types, A-.”

Krahn explained the importance of donating by stating the need for blood and blood products is one that will never go away.

“It doesn’t matter what season or time of year it is,” she said. “There’s always a need for red cells, platelets and plasma – all kinds of products.”

Blood collected during the clinic could be used to assist patients throughout Canada, but Krahn said it would most likely treat patients in Saskatchewan first and foremost.

“We do have the ability to ship blood products within Canada, but we try to take care of the needs of people throughout this province,” she said.

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