Blood donor clinics or ‘donation events’ are returning to Salmon Arm in May 2021 after more than a decade. (Black Press file photo)

Blood donor clinics or ‘donation events’ are returning to Salmon Arm in May 2021 after more than a decade. (Black Press file photo)

Blood donor clinics return to Salmon Arm after 11-year absence

Kelowna to become plasma site, creating opportunity for more whole blood donations in Interior

After an absence of more than 10 years, the Canadian Blood Services will hold a blood donor clinic in Salmon Arm this spring.

Now called a ‘donation event,’ the first such occasion in more than a decade will take place at the SASCU Recreation Centre on May 31 and June 1 from 1 to 5 p.m. each day.

The last time a blood donor clinic was held in the city was 2010. Many residents expressed their displeasure when the clinics stopped and it became necessary to drive to Vernon or elsewhere to donate blood.

Gayle Voyer, territory manager with Canadian Blood Services, said the events will be coming every 12 weeks.

One will be held in August and another in November. The organization’s fiscal year runs April 1 to March 31, so she said the events will be continuing in Salmon Arm until at least March 2022.

“We’re transitioning our Kelowna site into a plasma centre, so there will be opportunities for increased blood donations in the Interior,” she said.

Plasma is a component of blood – a whole unit is made up of plasma, white blood cells and red blood cells. Plasma is the liquid part of blood.

Read more: Blood donation stanched by distance to clinics

Read more: Calls grow for Trudeau to end MSM blood donation ban

She said the Canadian Blood Services’ blood system is quite complex. Blood collection sites are based on hospital demand, and the organization is a national one.

“Whether we’re in Salmon Arm or Kelowna, we always have enough blood for people to access across the country,” she said.

The organization is increasing plasma collection in Canada, with Kelowna to be one of just three sites in the country, beginning in June. The other two are in Sudbury, Ontario and Lethbridge, Alberta.

Starting in April, events will occur in Kamloops, Vernon, Penticton, Peachland, Armstrong and Salmon Arm for whole-blood donation. People in Kelowna will be able to donate plasma.

Voyer said the demand for blood is constant.

“It expires after 42 days so the need is ongoing.”

Regarding the Salmon Arm donation events, she said the best way to book is through the blood.ca website.

People can also do so through the ‘GiveBlood’ app. A phone number is available for questions, such as those about eligibility or medication: 1-888-236-6283.

Each day, about 50 donors will be accommodated during the four hours, with 100 over the two days.

Voyer said the blood.ca website can provide eligibility clearance, an important step.

“It’s a great tool for someone who has never donated or hasn’t donated for a long time – it takes you through preliminary screening.”

Read more: ‘Watching very closely’: Blood services watching for impact from COVID-19 second wave

Read more: ‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace

People 17 or older can donate. One of the biggest changes is that there no longer is an upper age limit.

She noted that Canadian Blood Services has a community engagement program, so if offices – or any group – would like to get involved and be part of donating blood, they should contact Voyer via email: gayle.voyer@blood.ca, as she can book presentations or get materials out to them. It’s all done virtually during the pandemic. The program is called ‘Partners for Life.’

Regarding how best to prepare for donating blood if a person is eligible, Voyer suggests that people make sure they’re hydrated, have had something to eat and are generally feeling well. People should bring their government-issued identification or their donor card.

Voyer said the organization is looking forward to coming to Salmon Arm.

“It’s nice to have such strong community support there.”


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

blood donorSalmon Arm

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Family Literacy Week is being celebrated in downtown Vernon with the first ever Story-Window Walk Jan. 21-31. (Literacy Society of North Okanagan)
Catch a Yeti in downtown Vernon

Literacy Week celebrated with first ever Story-Window Walk

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

A Salvation Army bell is rung by Michael Cronin as he staffs the charity’s red donation kettle in front of a grocery store, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Lynden, Wash. The familiar ringing of handbells has gone silent at many Canadian shopping malls this year as the Salvation Army tries to cope with COVID-19 rules at a time of dropping donations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Elaine Thompson
Record-breaking Christmas for Vernon Salvation Army

$640K and significant food donations pour into local organization ahead of holidays

A 2002 F350 was stolen from a Whitevale home sometime overnight Jan. 14. (Contributed)
Truck stolen near Lumby overnight

Lifted Ford stolen from Whitevale Road

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Washington. The President is traveling to Texas. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Black Press Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

In case you missed it, here’s what made waves throughout the week

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

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

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
13 more cases of COVID-19 tied to Big White Mountain cluster

This brings the total case count to 175, of which 32 cases are active

Most Read