Canadians are being asked to roll up their sleeves and donate blood to the Canadian Blood Services this summer after a landmark decline in inventory.
“Summer is a challenging time for blood collection, when many regular donors are on vacation — this is great time for new donors to join us and help prevent a further decline in the national inventory,” says Mark Donnison, vice president of Canadian Blood Services donor relations. “Platelets derived from blood are critical to help stop bleeding and unfortunately expire just five days after a blood donation.”
Canadian Blood Services manage the national supply of blood, blood products and stem cells across Canada, with the exception of Quebec. It is a not-for-profit charitable organization that is regulated as a biologics manufacturer by Health Canada and primarily funded by the provincial and territorial ministries of health.
However, there are no upcoming clinics in Invermere.
“Canada’s national blood system is complex and it’s difficult to accommodate all potential donors with our clinic locations,” said Marcelo Dominguez, Canadian Blood Services spokesperson. “In B.C., Kelowna is the closest permanent clinic location where local residents can donate blood; we also run a mobile clinic in Kamloops several days each month. Our best suggestion is the next time your readers travel within Canada, to please use the clinic locator on the home page of our website blood.ca to find a clinic near where they’ll be.”
The Canadian Blood Services need a minimum of 16,000 units of blood donations every week to meet the needs of patients, which means that the Canadian Blood Services should have between 20,000 to 30,000 units of blood in stock at a time.
However, platelets expire after five days, red blood cells expire after 42 days and plasma expires after one year.
“There are many people who need blood on a daily basis,” said Jill Nicholson, a blood donor recipient. “Just think of all the people who need blood because of accidents and medical conditions. Blood donors are the great people who help save them. They help keep so many people alive without even knowing them.”
For more information about the national inventory of blood, visit blood.ca/en/bloodtype.
Book an appointment by calling 1-888-2-DONATE to make an appointment in advance.