Saving lives is in their blood

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Nurse Jenny Green has organized a Queen Elizabeth Hospital staff blood drive

Besides helping to save Islanders’ lives as part of their daily work, more than 2,000 staff members at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital are doing it with their own blood.

QEH staff are bringing in Canadian Blood Services (CBS) from June 26 to 29 for what they hope will be an annual blood drive. The charge to “fill the blood bank” is being led by the QEH registered nurse Jenny Green.

“This is a really important thing for us to do. We see first hand how important the blood supply is,” Green said. "There are more than 70 spots reserved for our staff at the clinic, and we hope to fill each appointment.”

Green’s job involves keeping QEH staff healthy. She runs an immunization program and responds to health threats like needle punctures or exposure to infections. She says she decided to rally the troops after CBS ran an awareness campaign at the hospital last year.

She regularly checks the national blood supply on the CBS website to see how much is needed. Last year alone the QEH transfused 3,500 units of red cells to patients.

“What if we had a major trauma during one of those low times, and we were trying to get blood from Halifax for many people at once?" Green said. "We need to be proactive to prevent a scenario like that from occurring."

According to CBS, there is a 50 percent chance that every Canadian - or someone they know - will need blood at some point in their life.

"The QEH's blood drive is a great example of what makes Prince Edward Island mighty," Health and Wellness Minister Robert Mitchell said. "We're a small place, but Islanders are good at working together to do big things that have far-reaching benefits for everyone."

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