Demand for blood donations rises during holiday

Alberni hosts blood donor clinics Dec. 27–28

Canadian Blood Services says O-negative blood is always in demand because it is a universal blood type. You can find a blood donor clinic near you at blood.ca. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Canadian Blood Services has seen a notable increase in donations since Dec. 18 when it issued an urgent call for eligible donors to fill 35,000 open appointments by Jan. 6. However, more new and returning donors are still needed to help fill 18,000 open appointments.

“We are pleased so many Canadians have stepped up to fill open appointments to give blood and are confident others will join them by year-end or early in the New Year,” says Rick Prinzen, Canadian Blood Services’ chief supply chain officer.

The holiday season is a slower time for blood donations. Travel, family activities and changes in routines pose challenges to blood collections, especially the last half of December into the New Year.

“It can be tough during the holiday season to take an hour to give life but donors must continue to answer the call for blood, especially during the weeks of Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Every donation is important and we still need donors to book appointments and, even more importantly, to keep them,” says Prinzen.

There are two blood donor clinics happening in Port Alberni Dec. 27–28 at the Italian Hall on 4065 Sixth Ave. Today’s (Dec. 27) clinic runs from 2–7 p.m. at the hall. Thursday’s (Dec. 28) clinic also runs from 2–7 p.m. Appointments can be booked online at blood.ca, by downloading the GiveBlood app or by calling 1-888-236-6283.

While all blood types help patients, the supply of O-negative blood is in particular demand. Donors with O-negative blood are part of a select group whose donations are compatible with everyone. As the universal blood type, patients in an emergency situation can all receive O-negative blood.

Some blood collection centres will be open on New Year’s Day, as well as during other regular collection hours. New and existing donors are welcome and walk-ins will continue to be accepted.

Canadians who are unable to give blood can give financially, and can encourage others in their networks to give blood on their behalf.

To book an appointment, download the GiveBlood app available for iOS on the App Store or for Android on Google Play, call 1 888 2 DONATE (1 888 236 6283), or visit blood.ca.

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