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Jill Craven (right), Director of Cancer Services at LHSC’s London Regional Cancer Program, donated blood at the launch event for LHSC’s participation in the Canadian Blood Services’ “Partners for Life” program. Also present at the launch were Dr. Ian Chin-Yee, hematologist, and Meaghan Force, an RN in the Critical Care Trauma Centre.
LHSC has joined the Canadian Blood Services’ “Partners for Life” program, demonstrating a commitment to saving lives by setting an annual target for blood donation (blood units) and encouraging staff, volunteers and physicians to help reach that target. As a member of the program, LHSC will play an important role in increasing awareness of the need for blood.
“As this is our first year with the program and we are starting well into the timeline, our goal for 2012 is to collect 85 blood donations, a target I know that we will meet, and hopefully far exceed,” says Bonnie Adamson, LHSC President and CEO.
As an acute care hospital, LHSC cares for the most medically complex and critically ill patients in the region. Having a stable blood supply is a key factor in being able to care for these patients, and with areas such as our regional trauma and cancer programs — both high blood-product users — LHSC uses the majority of all blood products collected in London.
Meaghan Force, a registered nurse in the Critical Care Trauma Centre at Victoria Hospital, knows personally and professionally the importance of having blood products available. When she was pregnant with her son, Brenden in 2009, she was diagnosed with placenta previa, a complication in which the placenta grows in the lowest part of the uterus and covers all or part of the opening to the cervix.
With three occurrences of bleeding during her pregnancy, Force’s doctor decided to deliver Brenden at 36 weeks via caesarian section. Unexpectedly, Force experienced massive hemorrhaging following his delivery and it took doctors several hours to stop the bleeding, during which time Force lost a lot of blood and required a transfusion of six units.
“In my nursing role, I see trauma and oncology patients, and even mothers like me who need a blood transfusion. Those patients—myself included—would not be able to survive without blood product.”
Today Force donates blood every year on her son’s birthday, and while currently unable to donate due to a recent surgery, was thrilled to take part in the launch of the “Partners for Life” program at the end of March.
Equally excited at LHSC’s participation in this initiative is Jill Craven, the Director of Cancer Services at LHSC’s London Regional Cancer Program. Craven has been a regular blood donor for over 20 years.
“I donate because it’s so important for all of our patients, but especially our cancer patients. As health care providers, it’s important to engage and encourage donations amongst our staff.”
Dr. Ian Chin-Yee is a hematologist at LHSC and as the head of the hospital’s blood bank, he understands all too well the critical importance that blood plays in caring for patients and the constant need for people to donate.
“Blood is a very precious resource and we rely one hundred per cent on volunteer donors and Canadian Blood Services to maintain this vital link in our health care,” says Dr. Chin-Yee.
“LHSC has nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers. We are uniquely positioned because we know how important blood is to our patients; we see the need every day. So we need to roll up our sleeves and donate blood.”
As a member of the “Partners for Life” program, LHSC will play an important role in increasing awareness of the need for blood while rallying our extraordinary people to make a strong and lasting commitment to blood donation.