Donating blood helps fill urgent need

By James Ferguson
Oct. 8, 2014

Chris Watts wants to help out in the community.
That’s why he decided to donate blood for the first time, so someone else can use it to live a healthier and better life.
Watts donated blood in early October. He figured after being helped by so many other people, like getting help finding a house of his own to his employees helping him when he hurt his knee, he wants to return the favour, the Charlottetown man said.
“I might feel dizzy, since I never really gave blood before in my life, but the thought that my blood can save another person’s life gives me a warm feeling in my heart.”
The Canadian Blood Services website said 52 per cent of Canadians say they, or a family member, have needed blood or blood products for surgery or for medical treatment at the same time.
HealthLinkBC says people can’t donate if they have donated blood in the past 56 days, got a tattoo or have had a body or ear piercing in the last six months.
Other people can’t donate if they don’t have enough iron in their blood, if their blood pressure is too high, if they take certain medicines, if they’re pregnant.
Having a long-term illness like diabetes doesn’t mean someone can’t donate. If it’s under control, donations are accepted. Donations aren’t allowed if the donor feels like they’re getting a cold, HealthLinkBC said as well.
Jillian Brown is a communications specialist for the Canadian Blood Services. About half the Canadian population has the ability to donate blood, she said.
“Hospital patients are in need of blood, so people coming in and donating is saving a life with each unit of blood.”