Hema-Quebec made their bi-annual return to John Abbott on Monday and Tuesday, giving students the oportunity to donate blood and save lives. Abbotters happily obliged.
On January 23rd, they received 103 donations, and on January 24th over 130 Abboters contributed to the cause. Although the initial goal of the organizers was to reach 140 donors on each of the days, the participating volunteers agreed that every donation counts. The event was held in the Agora, where a dedicated group of volunteers set up a donation clinic. The organizers of this specific event were Huguette Rozon and Georges Rozon. Both have been organizing blood drives for several years.
Participating students agreed that donating blood and perhaps saving a life was well worth the brief discomfort caused by the needles.
As for the volunteers and organizers, they said that they take part in these events because they find it incredibly rewarding to do something good and act as part of a team.
Hema-Quebec is a provincial organization that aims to “excel and innovate in health services” (Hema-Quebec). They are a non-profit organization, meaning they don’t rely on government funding. Instead, they are kept running by hospitals paying fees to keep their biological product banks well stocked. Other sources of funding are donations from the general public and by companies who wish to help.
Hema-Quebec not only specializes in whole blood donations, which consist of donating blood with all its components, but also of each separate component. They use the process of Apheresis to collect plasma, red blood cells or platelets specifically.
According to the Canadian blood service website, it takes 5 donors for a heart transplant and up to 50 to save the life of a car crash victim. However, blood donations are used to care for a variety of patients, including those suffering from leukemia and and other cancers.
There is no chemical or synthetic replacement for biological material such as blood, so donations are the only source. Anyone who wishes to donate can visit the Hema-Quebec website and find out how to donate blood, money or time.