OPINION: Be among the proud minority who donate

While I’ve “paid off” my debt of 22 transfusions...I still feel compelled to continue.

OPINION: Be among the proud minority who donate

I was blushing a little last week when it was announced on Facebook (not mine by the way) that the certificate recognizing my milestone 50th blood donation was finally mounted on a plaque.

Kudos came to me from all over, and stirred a little discomfort as I don’t donate for the accolades, but in a small way to pay back for the donations that many decades ago saved my life.

I received the certificate some months, and two subsequent donations, ago.

And while I’ve “paid off” my debt of 22 transfusions (which, by the way, I also paid for at $25 a pop since they were administered in the United States) I still feel compelled to continue.

Because, thanks to them, at least I’m here to complain about or praise life, and extoll the value of blood donations.

I also found out this weekend, courtesy of our daily newspapers, that only 3.7 per cent of people actually donate blood in this country, yet 52 per cent of Canadians say they or a family member have needed blood or blood products.

You would think with that disparity and that volume of blood consumption, more people would roll up their sleeves and spend an hour or so bleeding for the common good.

The actual taking of the blood takes only about five minutes through a relatively painless insertion of a needle.

The rest of the time is made up of questions relating mostly to your previous sexual activity or whether or not you have messed around with monkeys (those who donate will smile knowingly).

While much of the controversial content in the dailies’ feature stories related to the inappropriate and occasionally deadly administration of blood products to patients, the bottom line is that they do save a great many lives.

The errors are human, and not the fault of the donation or transfusion.

In fact, according to statistics and thanks to much improved screening over years past, the risk of contracting a disease today through receipt of blood is miniscule – something akin to winning the lottery: a possible occurrence but one that only few will experience.

What many will experience, however, particularly during the summer when people head off for vacations and the roads are busy, are car accidents.

Right now, and in the coming months, I’m certain the demand for blood products is high. The average number of transfusions needed to save a single car-crash life is 50, roughly the sum total of all my years of donating!

Add to the fact that a blood donation has a very brief shelf life. Platelets only last five days; 42 days for red blood cells.

Yet every 60 seconds someone in Canada will receive a transfusion.

So this summer, between the beach and barbecues, take 60 minutes to help save a life.

You have about five litres of blood within your body, and they take less than half a litre which is recovered very quickly.

You suffer no ill effects; it costs you nothing but a little time; and you will feel good about giving to others.

Besides, after donating you get a free drink and as many cookies as you can handle.










Just Posted

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat greets fans outside of the Abbotsford Centre prior to the Canucks exhibition game against the Ottawa Senators in 2019. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
More jobs posted for Abbotsford AHL team

Five new opportunities accepting applicants, Comets forward Lukas Jasek signs in Finland

Singer Ben Cottrill performs during the 2019 Arty Awards at The Reach Gallery Museum, the last time the event was held in person. Cottrill received the award in the performing arts category. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Nominations now open for 2021 Arty Awards

Annual event hosted by Abbotsford Arts Council, with ceremony Sept. 25

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read