The number of people walking into Saskatchewan’s Canadian Blood Services clinics has declined. The COVID-19 pandemic has played a large role in the drop of donations.
“It’s so essential to get out and give blood,” said Earl Driedger, longtime donor in Saskatoon.
“It’s one thing to be a good person and talk about doing it but showing up and giving blood changes the world.”
Earl Driedger has been a blood donor for 35 years. But Canadian Blood Services needs a lot more people like him to meet the demand. The blood donation numbers needed every month is in the thousands.
“In Saskatoon to have our optimal donations, we have over 1,900 a month that need to be filled,” said Lisa Beechinor, the territory manager for Canadian Blood Services in Saskatoon.
“In Canada we need over 100,000 new donors every year. We are asking for donors to show up and donate like their lives depend on it because they do.”
It’s a growing demand with fewer and fewer people lining up to donate.
“One in every two people are eligible to donate blood and blood products,” said Beechinor. “But currently only one in 81 does so it is critical that new and returning donors book and keep their appointments to ensure patients’ needs are being met now and in the future.”
For Beechinor, the end of the month is near and there are still hundreds of donations still needed.
“In Saskatchewan we currently have 200 or over 250 that need to be filled by the end of April,” said Beechinor, “with 250 just being in Saskatoon and 60 in Regina.”
Blood donations only last 42 days with most often being used within the first five days they are received. It’s what makes regular donors like Earl Driedger so valuable.
“It’s something you can really do to help people,” said Driedger. “Especially during a pandemic at a time of need.
“People didn’t stop getting sick, they still need the blood. The true part about giving blood can save a life, I don’t think there is anything more important than that.”
To book an appointment to donate visit their website at blood.ca or call 1-888-2-DONATE.