Hospital wants regular blood donations

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The Mount St. John’s Medical Centre is urging people to donate blood on a regular basis rather than only donating when there is a traumatic event or an appeal to the public for blood.
Although the hospital is currently in urgent need of blood and has made an appeal to the public, head of the hospital’s marketing and communications department, Salma Crump, said the hospital is interested in having a consistently high percentage of voluntary donors not only when there is an emergency situation or appeal.
Crump specified that when appeals are made it means that a patient needs blood immediately. She is urging people not to wait until they hear an appeal before thinking about donating.
“It potentially affects all of us. If we can increase the number of voluntary donors on a regular basis it is safer for all of us. The entire community is at risk at any day of having any sort of complication as well as the patients here at the hospital all the time [who] need it. Patients always want blood,” Crump said.
She told OBSERVER media that offering incentives in exchange for blood is not a good practice. “I believe it’s unethical to pay someone to donate blood. That’s not a system you want to establish,” she commented.
The hospital is continuing to educate the public on blood donations through blood drives and check-up camps throughout the communities.
“We work with Red Cross [which] does a lot of community education around this topic and other partners of the hospital with regards to blood donation,” Crump disclosed.
She further stated that donating blood is also a great way for someone to find out their blood type; it is a part of the interview process when donating blood. During the process the donor is informed of their blood type. Crump added that although individuals have been donating since the appeal there still hasn’t been enough blood donors.
“We’re educating people by letting them know how important it is and that when you hear an appeal, some sort of trauma or people asking for blood for their relatives think that it could be you. I think it’s important for us to see ourselves in the situation and know that this could be me at any time and I would want to have that blood available to help save my life or the life of my family member,” Crump explained.
She added that the donation process is also a way of doing a little medical check-up as the blood undergoes various testing.
“I don’t want people to think that the hospital only needs blood when there’s some sort of traumatic situation like a gunshot wound or motor vehicle accident. We use blood every single day for lots of different reasons such as cancer care,” said Crump.
“You can come into our blood bank anytime from 7 o’clock in the morning to 4 o’clock in the afternoon,” she added.

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