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May 12, 2004 - SaskEnergy Challenges Saskatchewan to Donate Blood

May 12, 2004

SaskEnergy Challenges Saskatchewan to Donate Blood

SaskEnergy's outstanding record of blood donation is on the line, and our employees are again rolling up their sleeves to give the gift of life. We're kicking off our 2004/2005 blood donation campaign and helping Canadian Blood Services (CBS) build up blood supply reserves in advance of the West Nile Virus season.

See the Fast Facts...

"We're unbeatable when it comes to employee commitment to donating blood," said SaskEnergy/TransGas blood donation co-ordinator Heather McInnis. "We've donated 968 units of blood since July 2000. That translates into close to 3,900 potential lives saved." SaskEnergy/TransGas is aiming even higher this year." This campaign's goal is to collect 280 units in 5 clinics. That goal is 40 units higher than last year. SaskEnergy/TransGas has a 10 per cent participation rate, which far surpasses the Canadian average of three per cent, and SaskEnergy exceeded their donation goal last year with the highest donation average of any Crown corporation.

SaskEnergy/TransGas is challenging Saskatchewan residents to book an appointment so a healthy reserve can be maintained. "CBS may stop collecting blood in severely affected areas if we have a rerun of last year," said Canadian Blood Services Communications Specialist, Linda Paidel. Saskatchewan had 792 clinical cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) including six deaths in 2003; that is 59 per cent of all cases in Canada last year. There were 14 donations found to be infected and taken out of the blood supply in 2003, and 10 of those donations came from Saskatchewan.

"SaskEnergy is dedicated to addressing the needs of communities through service and sees this partnership with Volunteer Canada as a step toward ensuring volunteerism remains a strong part of Saskatchewan communities, "said Leslie Gosselin, SaskEnergy Manager of Community Relations & Advertising. "This partnership is important because nearly half of the people in Saskatchewan get involved in community initiatives every year, the highest level of participation of any province."

"The need for blood is on-going. People cannot become infected by giving blood and every unit of donated blood is tested for WNV to make the blood as safe as it can possibly be," adds Paidel. Donated whole blood can be stored for 35 days, red blood cells last for 42 days and platelets must be used within five days of donation.

SaskEnergy continues its excellent record with its first clinic Wednesday, May 12, 2004. It is a warm up for the first Corporate Challenge with SaskPower and SGI that is scheduled for July 29th.

For more information, please contact:

Leanne Persicke
Communications Consultant