News

Port Dover blood donors roll up their sleeves

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer

After some disappointing results in recent months in Port Dover, Canadian Blood Services was pleased with the turnout at a clinic Friday at St. Paul’s Anglican Church. Norfolk Mayor Charlie Luke was among those answering the call for new donors. At left is CBS’s Tammy Solman of Hamilton, the charge nurse at Friday’s clinic. MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMER

After some disappointing results in recent months in Port Dover, Canadian Blood Services was pleased with the turnout at a clinic Friday at St. Paul’s Anglican Church. Norfolk Mayor Charlie Luke was among those answering the call for new donors. At left is CBS’s Tammy Solman of Hamilton, the charge nurse at Friday’s clinic. MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMER

PORT DOVER - 

Canadian Blood Services is feeling better about the situation in Port Dover following a well-attended donor clinic on Friday.

CBS fell short of its objectives at the last two clinics in Port Dover. Fearing a trend, CBS asked Norfolk Mayor Charlie Luke to help raise awareness, which he did at a recent council meeting.

Luke took it one step further by rolling up his sleeve Friday and donating his first unit in 20 years. With others renewing their commitment to saving lives, the Port Dover clinic was well on its way to meeting its target within the first hour.

“It’s painless, and it only takes about an hour of your time,” Luke said. “It’s the right thing to do.

“You do not know what your gift of life might do. It could save someone’s life. It’s an easy way to do something for someone else. I intend to do this every 56 days – get in the habit.”

Canadian Blood Services will terminate clinics if the payoff isn’t worth the resources needed to collect blood. Until recently, there were regular clinics in Delhi. However, regular donors in the Delhi area have been re-routed to clinics in Tillsonburg, Norwich and Simcoe.

It looked this spring as if Port Dover was heading down the same path. CBS was aiming for 72 units at the April 21 clinic but collected only 41. The objective June 19 again was 72 units but only 63 were collected. That’s when CBS contacted the mayor.

Word seems to have got around. Friday’s clinic was still underway at press time. However, the fact CBS processed 30 donors in the first hour left everyone confident the objective would be met if not exceeded.

“The issue here is awareness,” says Erica Hung, CBS territory manager for Hamilton, Norfolk and Haldimand. “We need new donors and we need our regular donors.

“I am not concerned at this point about donations in Port Dover. The community is not being targeted.”

The average unit of blood has a shelf life of about 42 days but tends to be used sooner. A badly lacerated crash victim will need 50 or more units. Those battling leukemia will go through eight units a week.

CBS asks regular male donors to wait 56 days between donations. The corresponding figure for women is 84 days.

The final two clinics in Port Dover this year will be held Oct. 20 and Dec. 22.

MSonnenberg@postmedia.com