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Canadian Blood Services needs donors amid coronavirus pandemic

Click to play video: 'Canadian Blood Services need donors amid COVID-19 pandemic' Canadian Blood Services need donors amid COVID-19 pandemic
WATCH: There has been a recent drop-off in blood donations despite the ongoing need – May 14, 2020

Canadian Blood Services has had to change how it operates.

While there was a spike in donations when the coronavirus pandemic started, there has been a recent drop-off despite the ongoing need.

“It’s just become a regular part of my routine,” said Jason Christie, who says he made his 37th blood donation this week.

He started giving blood when he was in high school.

“I definitely feel now is as good of a time as ever to keep consistent with what I’ve been doing,” said Christie.

The Peterborough paramedic sees the importance of blood donations first-hand on a daily basis. He’s been on the job for eight years.

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“I think if I was unfortunate to be in that circumstance that I hope that there is blood available for me when I need it,” said Christie.

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Marlene Dear says she’s been donating for years.

Despite a different setup due to the pandemic, she made her contribution.

“I felt it was just the only good thing I could do for somebody,” she said.

Increased measures have been taken inside Canadian Blood Services in Oshawa to keep a safe environment for donations.

“We have an enhanced wellness checkpoint right when you come in. We’ve removed tables and chairs to ensure that waiting areas and donor beds are spaced two metres apart. We’re increasing our cleaning rituals,” said Jennifer Mathieu with Canadian Blood Services.

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Right now all donations are being done by appointment. Blood services has been trying to book one every five minutes.

“We’re encouraging them to come during their appointment time. We’re allowing one donor in at a time,” said Mathieu.

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It’s been almost two months since the prime minister encouraged Canadians to donate blood.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau urges Canadians to donate blood' Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau urges Canadians to donate blood
Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau urges Canadians to donate blood – Mar 19, 2020

After a spike in donations, they’ve levelled off.

“This weekend alone we need about 150 donors to come in,” said Mathieu.

Canadian Blood Services in Oshawa says it needs close to 400 donors a week.

They’ve increased their hours to help meet the demand but as elective surgeries open, more blood will be required.

“Someone fighting leukemia, pandemic or not, they may need up to eight donors a week for treatment. People are still in need of blood every day,” said Mathieu.

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