THE Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) for the north east area is based in Ardee and the Area Manager is John Healy.
The Ardee centre opened 10 years ago this month and this week it is heading for its 200,000 donation.
“The Ardee Centre has played a significant role in providing our many hospitals with blood and blood products since we were launched in March 2001,” said John.
“We are heading for our 200,000 donor and that in itself proves that the contribution by our donors has lived up to our expectations.
“I would like to express my thanks to our many loyal and regular donors and of course would welcome new donors who have not attended in the past year or so.”
The 200,000 donor is expected to come from the Dundalk area as a clinic was held there this week at the Clan na Gael centre and also the Crowne Plazza hotel.
It continues today (Wednesday) 16 March from 5.30pm to 8.30pm.
“We have 20,000 donations a year,” said John. “That’s 20,000 units or pints in old terms.
“The decentralisation of the service and creating the centre in Ardee has been a huge success and the north east is now one of the most successful areas in the country.
The centre covers the north east region of Louth, Meath, Monaghan and Cavan, as well as parts of counties Dublin and Westmeath.
Ardee is an administration centre.
John is assisted by clerical officers Anna Whyte and Catherine Hughes and each clinic is staffed by three staff nurses, donor attendants, driver clerks and a medical officer.
A team of 18 attends each clinic in the county and an average of 120 people donate blood at any one time.
The clinics in Louth are held in Ardee - Parish Centre; Dunleer - Recreation Centre; Blackrock - Parish Centre Sandy Lane; Dundalk - Clan na Gael Ecco Road and Crowne Plazza; Cooley - Foy Centre; Drogheda - Our Lady’s College Greenhills.
“The people who provide these venues are very supportive,” said John.
“They give us tremendous co-operation and this is greatly appreciated.
“A clinic is held at each centre every three months. There has to be a minimum of 90 days between each donation. The average is 100.
“We carry out our work in a very professional and efficient manner,” said John, “and we regard ourselves as one of the leading services in the world.
“We are an essential service. Without us some hospitals could not function.
“We are asking people to give up an hour, once or twice every three months.
“We need 3,000 pints of blood a week to keep our hospitals going. Blood only lasts 35 days.
“We would never run into difficulties if people donated two or three times a year.”
If you want any more information contact low call 1850 731 137.
The website is: www.ibts.ie. The Ardee centre can be contacted at 041 685 9994.