Saturday, June 18, 2011

If you don't have something intelligent or nice to say why say anything at all?

So, as you know I get blood transfusions on a regular basis and thus I have a huge interest in Canadian Blood Services and it's policies and procedures.
The following article is discussing the various things Canadian Blood Services is exploring to accommodate donors who do not speak English. I find this article to be very interesting but what is even more interesting is the comments from readers that follow this article stating that CBS is racist. I think if you aren't receiving blood or you don't understand the reasoning behind certain rules and regulations you can't just call is racist and move on.
Sometimes people just don't know enough about the subject and shouldn't be commenting on it. I'll all for freedom of speech but if you don't have something intelligent or nice to say, why say anything at all?

Blood agency faces barriers in ethnic donor search

CBC News Posted: Jun 17, 2011 9:37 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 17, 2011 4:29 PM ET Read 63 comments63 Back to accessibility links

While visible minorities make up 20 per cent of the population, only seven per cent of blood donors identify themselves that way, the agency said.

As part of National Blood Donor Week, Canadian Blood Services said it wants donors to better reflect the Chinese, South Asian and Filipino communities in Toronto and Vancouver.

In some rare instances, patients need a closer match than basic blood groups, which is more likely to succeed when the donor belongs to the same ethnic background.

But answering yes to one of several questions may mean a person is ineligible to donate blood, such as:

Not being able to speak English or French.

Visiting the United Kingdom, France or elsewhere in Europe for three months or more from 1980 to 1996.

Visiting Saudi Arabia for six months or more between 1980 and 1996.

Having malaria.

People who've visited a country that is considered in a malaria risk-zone are excluded for up to a year.

First-time blood donor Danny Cen says a language barrier does prevent some Chinese from giving. CBC

The language barrier does prevent some Chinese from giving blood, said first-time donor Danny Cen in Toronto.

"Some actually want to donate but then they don't know how to speak English," said Cen.

Translation option

The agency hopes to start providing translators for donors who speak Cantonese and Punjabi, said Tony Steed, director of marketing and recruitment for Canadian Blood Services in Ottawa.

Potential donors are not allowed to bring along their own translator for what Health Canada calls privacy reasons. CBS is applying to the regulator to allow Punjabi translators in Toronto and Cantonese translators in Vancouver.

"We are exploring the use of translators, for example, we have sign language," interpreters, Steed said.

Tim Wilson wanted to donate for the first time after seeing ads, but travelling to France 20 years ago meant he was turned away.

"I'm scared of needles, but I thought, 'I'm just going to deal with it,'" Wilson said. "It's really a shame, I would have liked to have donated."

Need for blood

Half of Canadian adults are eligible to donate blood but only one in 60 has.

Cardiovascular surgery can take five units of blood that would require five donors. Trauma from a car collision may require 50 units.

Source: Canadian Blood Services

Jake Hendren, 14, of Whitby, Ont., discovered he had a bleeding disorder called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, or ITP, last July after he was playing football and developed black bruises everywhere within 45 minutes, said his mother, Jane Hendren.

Since then, Jake has needed nine infusions of platelets.

"It has been a rough year, and every time we have walked out of the hospital with confidence that my son is not getting any diseases," said Jane Hendren, who welcomes the criteria.

"They have restrictions for a reason, and the reason is to protect the safety of the patients like my son."

The blood agency's campaign aims to increase its base to 500,000 active blood donors and to recruit 100,000 new ones each year across Canada by 2015.

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