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blood 560Hub Staff

Blood donor days are coming to the area with a stretch goal for Saugeen Shores. The target is 144 units of blood by organizers of the Canadian Blood Services (CBS). However, the Saugeen Shores event has consistently collected short of that goal rounding to approximately 125 units.

This has required CBS to reduce its annual days in Port Elgin from six to three. The upcoming October 5 donation day, the first in four months, will see blood collected between 1-7 p.m. at the Plex.

Spokesperson for CBS Marc Plante said that since making the change to come fewer times, “those events are performing 10 percent better than when running six times per year.” 

Longtime Port Elgin volunteer Pete Windsor said that blood is desperately needed at all times and would hate to see the numbers go down in the stock pile.

“Now that they’ve taken us back to a different schedule, my bet is they would not take us back to every other month. They’ve made the move now... I don’t totally disagree with it, but sure would like to see the numbers go up. They haven't modified their target for a long time.” Windsor went on to say that he understands the cost benefit for CBS to limit their days in the Saugeen Shores community, but feels if CBS closes the Port Elgin Blood Clinic, that “the town would lose something.”

Windsor admitted that CBS could get “much more cost effective collection results out of Toronto; they've got a bigger population there...but I think our town would lose something if these people couldn't give.”

The volunteer who has been helping at donor clinics for over a decade also cited transportation issues for many who do donate blood if they would have to travel to other locations to give. “I’d just hate to see us cut back any more than once every four months and that’s a possibility.”

An infographic available on blood.ca states that up to five donors are needed for one heart surgery, up to 50 donors per car crash, up to five for cancer treatments and up to 8 donors each week are needed for a leukemia patient.

The legal age to donate is 17 years and older. The website blood.ca/en/blood/can-i-donate has frequently asked eligibility questions answered alphabetically. The website also has a quick from to fill out if one is interested in donating. Forms will also be available at the Plex on October 5.

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