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Blood donation: A little pain now, but a world of difference later

Selena Dewolf
Selena Dewolf - Contibuted Photo

By Ben Forrester


A little bit of pain is worth preventing a lot of pain for someone else, says a Dal AC student who took part in a recent Canadian Blood Services drive in Truro.

“It seems to be a case of extremes with people,” said Selena Dewolf, noting on this day, the empty chairs surrounding her at the Immanuel Baptist Church, which hosted the blood drive. “Half of my friends couldn’t donate even if they wanted to because of tattoos and travel, and the other half are too scared.”

Dewolf decided to donate after attending a blood-type testing clinic at her school. She was told she was type O Negative, making her a universal donor.

A technician at the time told Dewolf, “Wow, that’s rare, you should really consider donating.”

A single donation by Dewolf will help three Canadians in need.

“There were fears leading up to the needle, but I knew helping people would be worth it.”

Blood-type testing clinics are put on across Canada to encourage potential donors to sign up for a blood drive.

“In the winter we run low because of storms and in the summer, we run low because everyone is out in the nice weather, so we need strategies like that one to keep hospitals supplied with donations,” said Deborah MacGillivray, a territory manager with Canadian Blood Services.

This April blood drive produced fewer donors than expected.

“We should have seen 95 per cent of the appointments booked, but we only saw 70 per cent for one day and 32 for another,” said MacGillivray.

The next Truro blood drive is July 4 to 6 at the Best Western Glengarry in Truro, 150 Willow Street. To make an appointment, go online or call 1-888-2DONATE. Walk-ins are also welcome.

“It’s the most direct way you can help someone,” said MacGillivray.

Keeping blood donations safe

  • Blood can’t be donated within six months of getting a tattoo or piercing, to guard against possible infections.
  • Various travel destinations can affect eligibility; check for more info.
  • Males must wait 56 days between donations, females must wait 84.
  • By dividing donated blood into three components – red blood cells, plasma and platelets – up to three lives can be saved with a single donation.
  • An eligibility quiz is available online; visit to learn if you can donate and to book an appointment.

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