Mobile blood clinic hits the road in Nova Scotia

HALIFAX — The truck is packed, the passengers are on board the bus, now all that’s needed is blood.The Canadian Blood Services mobile blood clinic is hitting the road once again on one of the dozens of trips it makes each year.  More than half of all the blood collected from the Maritime provinces comes from one of the mobile clinics and all of the equipment needed to set up is stored entirely in a single truck.

“Turnouts are always bigger in small communities, the permanent clinic in Halifax usually collects about 40 and 60 units per day, but the mobiles get anywhere from 70 to 120 units on average. Every little drop counts with us,” say Corey Matheson, a community coordination developer with Blood Services.

There are 19 staff members on the blood bus and when they arrive, even more volunteers are there to help.

Yesterday the team arrived in Truro and in under an hour their gear is fully unloaded and the mobile clinic is ready to receive donors.

First time donors like Allen Hiltz were eager to give.

“I’m actually excited about it,” said Hiltz “and who knows, maybe I actually have a rare blood type that somebody really needs that I could be giving. It’s a noble thing to do, it’s a very generous thing you can be doing and I think more people should do it.”

For CBS, there is always a need for more donors.

“There’s always a need and we don’t always meet our targets,” supervisor Colleen Mackay. “In fact, one in two people are eligible to donate, but of that group only four per cent of the population in Canada actually gives blood.”

Each blood donation in Canada gets split into three different products — red blood cells, platelets, and plasma — then each of those products go to a different patient, meaning that when people donate, they could actually be saving not one life, but three.

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