By Rebecca Rempel
It’s an easy way to get a free cookie.
As well as a free beverage, an excuse not to do anything strenuous for the rest of the day and a heart-felt thank-you.
Staff of the Canadian Blood Services held their bi-annual donor clinic at Loyalist Friday, Feb. 3. The agency visits Loyalist once each semester and has time-slots for 110 donors throughout the day. Eighty-five donors pre-registered and many more students and faculty were expected to drop in.
“Our target was 64 units,” said Kingston regional contact Annie Barrette. “We actually collected 66 units at Loyalist.”
The regional base in Kingston travels from Kingston west to Brighton area. They run mobile clinics in communities during the week, usually two or three, in addition to their base in Kingston opening its doors three days a week.
The whole process for giving blood takes about 45 minutes, with the actual bleeding taking 15 minutes.
After registering, donors have their iron levels checked, answer a questionnaire, speak with a nurse regarding recent medical history, have their vitals checked, give blood and then revitalize with juice and cookies. At any one of these steps leading up to the actual donating, volunteers can be deferred. Reasons for deferrals include low iron levels, travel to a malaria known area, a new piercing or tattoo, or recent dental work.
In addition to regular donors, there were many first-timers rolling up their sleeves on Friday. Emilee Somerville, a first-year developmental service worker student, was sitting in the cafeteria with her classmates when they saw the clinic and decided to go.
“Feel pretty good,” said Somerville after completing her donation. “I’d do it again for sure.”
Third-year engineering student Ryan Rumohr was also a first-time bleeder.
“I’m used to needles and getting prodded,” said Rumohr, who’s been in a few accidents. “So it’s all good.”
“My dad needed blood, my mom needed blood and my brother needed it. All from accidents,” Rumohr said as he gave blood. “I can see (giving blood again).”
Don Terry has been donating blood since 2000.
“I did,” Terry said when asked if he knew anyone who has needed a blood transfusion. “I got hit by a dump truck. Cut my nose, broke a couple ribs, punctured my liver and had breaks in my pelvis.”
Terry said it was important for people to give blood.
“I wanted to bring my grandson with me this morning so he would get the idea.
“I look at is almost like organ donating,” Terry said. “If somebody else could use it, then fine.”
The mobile clinic won’t be rolling back into Loyalist until November 2012, but volunteers are welcome to make an appointment at the next clinic in Belleville, which will be at the Belleville Fish and Game Club March 5.