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Blood donations meeting demand in Saskatchewan after brief drop-off: Canadian Blood Services

A bag of blood is shown at a clinic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Blood inventory levels in Saskatchewan are high enough to meet health care demands after a brief surge of COVID-19-related donation cancellations, according to Canadian Blood Services (CBS).

Jennifer Dareichuk, CBS director of donor relations for Saskatchewan and Manitoba, says that supply benefited from nationwide reminders that the service was still operating.

“There was some confusion leading to a spike in cancellations which was concerning,” Dareichuk said. “It was a noticeable difference for a short period of time.”

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Dareichuk attributes the initial drop in donation levels to confusion as COVID-19 began to close doors and limit services across various industries.

“That spurred us on to go out there and clear up the message and let people know that blood is still needed during the pandemic,” she said. “Blood has a short shelf life so we really need to continue to operate.”

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“Since we made that call out publicly we’ve had an excellent response both in Saskatchewan and across the country.”

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According to CBS, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by blood.

Dareichuk says CBS’ normal donation centres in Regina and Saskatoon are still open.

Safety precautions have been introduced to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 including wellness checkpoints at donation centres and enhanced cleaning procedures.

The organization has also temporarily stopped accepting walk-in donors and moved to an appointment-only system.

Canadian Blood Services encourages anyone wishing to donate to make an appointment at blood.ca.

Men can donate whole blood every 56 days, while women can donate whole blood every 84 days.

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