Record blood donations at UWO

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Drawing blood

Zack Vitiello

"I THOUGHT THIS WAS A BARBER SHOP." Western's blood donor clinic has received record donations this year.

Western’s blood donor clinic has received record donations this year.

“This year alone we’ve had an increase by about 1,000 units,” said Erin Brydon, recruitment co-ordinator for Canadian Blood Services (CBS). “[There were] 390 first-time donors, [and] on top of that we’ve had 223 return to donate.”

“Usually, we have 23 to 30 people coming in during our winter hours,” said Carol Loboszinsky, chief nurse of Western’s blood donor clinic. “It doesn’t seem like much, but it keeps us busy.”

The clinic is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Brydon credits the addition of the Wednesday date with much of the donation increase.

“It definitely benefited us and made it more open for students,” Brydon said.

“Our last clinic is April 11,” she added. “We return Monday, May 7 [and are open] Mondays and Tuesdays. Then our hours will be changed to summer hours, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. We’ll revert [to traditional hours] in September.”

Loboszinsky encourages students interested in giving blood to make an appointment or call CBS.

“The University Community Centre clinic was constantly busy and heavily pre-booked,” Brydon said.

She hopes donations will continue during the summer because “it’s an important factor in satisfying hospital needs.”

The clinic isn’t just for the student population.

“We rely heavily on faculty and staff,” Brydon said.

“I originally started [giving blood] last year to figure out what my blood type was,” joked Dan Quintal, a third-year social science student. However, he said he continued donating blood to give back to the community and help people.

Kim Legault, a fourth-year medical student, doesn’t know why she began donating blood.

“I think that it was mostly modelled [because] my mother always did,” Legault said. “I think she had a blood transfusion as a child. I always thought it was a good thing to do.”

“When someone gives one unit of blood, it’s not going to one individual; it’s going to up to four different people,” Loboszinsky said, adding different blood components, like plasma and platelets, are separated and given to different patients.

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