Bringing Canada’s 17 eye and tissue banks together: Canadian Blood Services works collaboratively with the Canadian tissue community to establish best practices, collect national data, support professional education, raise public awareness and advance system improvements. One of the first and biggest ways we’ve supported our partners is by collecting and analyzing national data. Our team dove into action again for the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the issue erupted, members of the tissue community across Canada have been participating in weekly conference calls to share knowledge and develop guidance to increase consistency in practice — for example, screening potential tissue donors for COVID-19. Read more at blood.ca/stories.
Wellness Wednesday: Prior to COVID-19, we were already living in a largely digital world — but with physical distancing, self-isolation and “stay-at-home” measures in place for the past few months to help reduce the spread, most of us are now glued to our screens more than ever before. For many, screens have become the centerpiece of our work, our entertainment and our social lives. That’s why Deanna Jones, brand ambassador and strategic communications specialist in Dartmouth, NS, reached out this week to her sister-in-law, Dr. Erica Nielson, an optometrist based in Truro, NS, to have a conversation about what we can do to keep our eyes healthy during these unusual times. In this week’s installment of Wellness Wednesday, Dr. Nielson shares some valuable tips for “screen hygiene” and discusses the golden “20-20-20” rule for avoiding digital eye strain symptoms.
‘An opportunity to dream’ for a young woman with sickle cell disease: Revée has always been close to her sister, Stephanie, but their bond grew even tighter when she learned that Stephanie could become her stem cell donor. The transplant in 2017 cured her illness by replacing her own blood-forming stem cells with new ones from Stephanie — who had just a one-in-four chance of being a match. Today Revée is thriving. She works full-time as a nurse. And, before the COVID-19 pandemic, she was able to go swimming, an activity she used to avoid because the cold water would send her into a health crisis caused by the sickling of her red blood cells. Read more about Revée’s story on blood.ca.
OHL Humanitarian of the Year supporting Canada’s Lifeline: The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) announced that Kitchener Rangers goalie and LA Kings prospect, Jacob Ingham, has been named as the 2019–2020 OHL Humanitarian of the Year, for spearheading a movement that has inspired the hockey community to become more involved in donating blood and stem cells and fundraising in support of Canadian Blood Services. Among his accomplishments, Ingham was the first-ever Player Ambassador for Hockey Gives Blood, recipient of the inaugural Dayna Brons Honorary Award and raised more than $26,000 for Canadian Blood Services through his ‘Jake Saves’ campaign. “The difference that Jacob has helped make in the lives of patients across the country since joining the Hockey Gives Blood movement and Canada’s Lifeline has quite literally been game-changing,” said Dr. Graham Sher in response to Jacob’s win. “His significant fundraising achievements and efforts to mobilize the hockey community to donate blood and stem cells will have a huge and lasting impact for patients who rely on these life essentials.” Learn more about Jacob’s fundraising and awareness-building efforts on Connect.
Question of the day: Will we be adding a test for COVID-19 antibodies to our regular testing?
As part of global efforts to understand and treat the novel coronavirus, our researchers are looking to randomly select, freeze and stockpile blood samples from donation centres across the country to later test for COVID-19 antibodies – once an appropriate test is available.
The hope is that by gathering many randomized samples every month for about a year, we will be able to analyze the progression of community exposure (and immunity) to COVID-19. This knowledge will help with the development of future public health policies and directives as well as blood collection site policies, as we continue to deal with the current pandemic – and prepare for potential future outbreaks.
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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