Blood donations encouraged in London amid coronavirus pandemic

Canadian Blood Services is calling to the public for donations.
Canadian Blood Services is calling to the public for donations. Canadian Blood Services / File

UPDATE: This article originally included information about a donor clinic at Citi Plaza scheduled for Friday, March 20. Organizers have since confirmed that clinic has been cancelled. 

Londoners are being encouraged to continue to donate blood as the nation grapples with the ongoing new coronavirus pandemic.

The calls have been echoed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who made the plea during a news conference Wednesday morning, asking for healthy Canadians to donate blood.

Jamie Reichmann, a territory manager for the Canadian Blood Services, says the organization has been bombarded with appointment cancellations and is concerned about the long-term effect that could have on inventory.

She says the cancellation of individual and group appointments can have a dramatic impact on patients across the country who continue to need blood and blood products.

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“These products are still required to treat patients with cancer and trauma and those who are undergoing surgery,” said Reichmann, adding that clinics are practising a number of protocols to ensure cleanliness.

“We have cleaning and infection control practices in place to protect all our donors, even our staff and volunteers. We now have wellness checkpoints at the entrances of our centres, where donors are asked to use hand sanitizer.”

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Reichmann says donors are also being asked additional questions related to their health and travel history, as per the recommendations set out by Canadian public health agencies.

The call for blood donations comes as provincial health officials announced 43 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, with a second confirmed death from COVID-19.

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A blood donor clinic will be set up at the Unifor Local 88 building in Ingersoll Monday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

People can also donate at the Canadian Blood Services office at 820 Wharncliffe Rd. S. from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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