Stories from National Blood Donor Week: During National Blood Donor Week we are celebrating donors for their generosity and commitment and sharing the stories of the lives they have touched. Paramedics are at the frontline of patient care during the pandemic, but a group in Manitoba is also helping from behind the scenes by donating blood. “We were already on the front lines with COVID -19 so there was no hesitation to go out and donate blood,” said Rebecca Clifton, administrative director of the Paramedic Association of Manitoba. Her efforts inspired nearly 40 regular and first-time blood donors to join the event — and for some, the act of generosity is hitting close to home. Read more on blood.ca/stories.
COVID-19 survivors come together through convalescent plasma clinical trial: Across Canada, an increasing number of COVID-19 survivors are joining the fight against the virus as part of Health Canada approved clinical trials. At the start of National Blood Donor Week more than 1,400 people registered their intent to become convalescent plasma donors. So far, we have collected 87 donations. More than 170 other donors have also qualified to participate in the CONCOR clinical trial and will make their donations later this summer. It is too early to know whether convalescent plasma is, in fact, a safe and effective treatment option for patients with COVID-19. However, it is important to take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate the incredible commitment and cooperation required to make clinical trials of this size and scope possible in such a short time. Learn more about how COVID-19 survivors are baring arms to help more patients on blood.ca/stories.
Canadians share their story: The pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives, but in some ways, it is inspiring Canadians to find new ways of making connections. More than ever before, we are seeing patients and donors from across the country sharing stories of how their lives have been changed by blood products through mystory.blood.ca. These stories are an important reminder that what we do matters. Melissa, from Paris Ontario is on a mission to replace the whole blood used to try and save her dad’s life — she is halfway there. Stephanie, from Port Coquitlam, British Columbia thanks the generous donors who help keep her son, diagnosed with leukemia, alive with numerous red blood cell and platelet transfusions. Visit mystory.blood.ca to read more about how the work you do is impacting lives across the country.
Standing together: As the pandemic has evolved, our partners representing diverse groups from across the country have organized blood drives in their communities. These groups exemplify the truth that diversity is one of Canada’s strengths. Take a moment to view a video message on Connect from representatives of the Canadian Ismaili Muslim Community, the Sant Nirankari Mission and the Sikh Nation discussing why they feel passionate about strengthening Canada’s Lifeline.
Question of the day: Are we re-thinking opening more beds in donor centres seeing that plexiglass can be used between beds allowing the required distancing?
We are seeing demand for red blood cells pretty much back at pre-COVID levels, so we are actively looking at multiple opportunities to increase our collection capability.
Some of this entails putting on new events, extending existing hours and increasing the capacity of our existing events — including looking at increasing the donor bed model, seeing if there are area constraints and whether physical barriers like plexiglass could be considered.
These barriers are also being explored to increase capacity in other areas of our collection environments. For example, the waiting areas in some of our donor centres do not have enough space to accommodate keeping chairs two metres apart. This is an example of other areas where plexiglass is being investigated.
The safety of employees, volunteers and donors is a top priority. As we increase collections, we will ensure that physical distancing measures are in place.
About the daily digest
This daily digest will highlight the latest policy and employee support measures, resources to help you manage our new reality and original content like articles and videos to remind us that what we do matters. Things are moving quickly, so you can expect to hear from us daily. No access to email? No problem — all this information and more can be found on blood.ca/employees from any device, no login required.
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