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

Alan can be seen picking organic ambrosia apples on his Keremeos orchard, Old Tower Farm. The provincial government has partnered with the farm owners to lease a portion of their orchard to a new farmer. (Old Tower Farm photo)
Budding farmer gets his start on Keremeos orchard

Kanver Brares, 21, will grow the fruits of his labour on leased land at Old Tower Farms

Corsac the cat is up for adoption at Critteraid.
Critteraid hosts three adoption Sundays

More than 40 cats looking for their forever homes

Abigail McCluskey is in the Netherlands training to compete in the World Cup next month. She joins 12 Canadian speedskaters for the international competition later this month. (Dave Holland CSI Calgary)
Penticton speed skater in Netherlands for World Cup

Abigail McCluskey will be skating the long track in the international competition

Summerland Middle School
COVID exposure at Summerland Middle School

The person who tested positive was at school Jan. 11

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Vernon’s Heron Grove retirement facility. (Good Samaritan Society photo)
Resident of Vernon’s Heron Grove retirement home tests positive for COVID-19

Interior Health has not declared an outbreak at the facility

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

(Vernon Search and Rescue/Facebook)
Vernon Search and Rescue responds after family gets UTV stuck on SilverStar trails

The family activated their SOS beacon around 3 p.m. once they realized they could be facing a night alone in the mountains

Dastkar, a new furniture store in Vernon, features handmade, unique furniture carved from wood and inlaid with brass in the Chiniot style. The business located on 43rd Avenue was started in December 2020 but is currently unstaffed due to COVID-19 staffing shortages. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Vernon’s hidden handmade furniture store

Owners of Shahi Pakwan Indian restaurant opened the South Asian furniture store in December 2020

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

Most Read