Canadian Blood Services employee Beth Kennedy, right, works with donor Ruby MacKnight at the Red Deer blood donor clinic. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Blood donations up in Central Alberta after Humboldt

Blood donations are up in Central Alberta.

Shaun Richer, Canadian Blood Services territory manager for Red Deer and Central Alberta, said he believes the increase is likely due to the Humboldt tragedy.

On Tuesday at the Red Deer blood donor clinic, the staff was expecting to reach a target of 48 appointments, but ended up with 58.

Blood donations were also up in Rocky Mountain House Monday, where Richer said he was expecting blood donations from 80 people, but ended up having 117 appointments.

He said he expects the trend to continue in Red Deer throughout the week.

Richer said people need an avenue to get involved and make a difference, and donating blood is one way to go.

Blood donations are up throughout Canada – especially in the prairies, he said.

“We’ve seen some fantastic support from Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba since Friday evening,” Richer said.

Along with blood donations, the number of people registering to become organ donors has increased as well.

Over the course of Sunday and Monday, 3,071 people signed onto the Alberta Organ and Tissue Donation Registry to register to become organ/tissue donors in the province.

Robert Gereghty, Alberta Health Services spokesperson, said typically, the average number of new registrations for that period would be around 425.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there are 464,000 registered organ donors in Alberta.

Gereghty said each donor can potentially save eight lives through organ donation, and help as many as 75 people through tissue donation.

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