More than 22,000 blood donors are urgently needed across Canada by Aug. 26, according to Canadian Blood Services.
They need these donations in order to ensure that there is enough blood supply to meet patient needs for the rest of the summer.
“Just with people’s schedules changing, kids being out of school, people being on vacation – our regular donors aren’t able to come in the same way they usually are,” Robin Henwood with Canadian Blood Services said.
“We’re looking for new or returning donors to come in and really fill that gap for us.”
Rick Prinzen, Canadian Blood Services’ chief supply chain officer, is urging people to make blood donation part of their summer plans.
“Giving blood is a lifesaving habit that will make a real difference in a stranger’s life,” he said in a press release.
“New donors are fundamental to meeting Canada’s blood needs over the longer term. If every donor brings a friend to donate, or encourages others to give life, they can have a tremendous impact on the supply system.”
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Long weekends are also an important time for blood donation, which is why donors are needed before Labour Day weekend in early September.
“We do know that on long weekends, we tend to see a greater need for blood. But really, the need for blood is constant. Every minute of every day, people are using blood,” Henwood said. “We just are seeing a decline in the number of people walking in our doors over the summer months.”
People with Type O blood are particularly being urged to donate. O-negative blood can be given to any patient and is always in demand for that reason – it’s the “universal donor.” According to Canadian Blood Services, when seconds count and there is no time to check for a blood type, patients receive O-negative blood.
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Blood is also an integral part of some non-emergency lifesaving treatments, like for some types of leukemia, where patients might have to go through multiple transfusions.
To donate, visit the Canadian Blood Services’ website, or call 1-888-2-DONATE to find a nearby donation site. Walk-in appointments are also available at all donation locations.
— With files from Kerry McAthey, Global News