Critical need for blood donations, officials say

Red Deer officials with Canadian Blood Services make public plea

By Emily Rogers

Red Deer Express

Canadian Blood Services is in critical need for blood donations in June.

Previous donors were celebrated on June 11th to 17th for National Donor Week, while encouraging others to become donors.

“We recently called on Canadians to fill more than 150,000 donation appointments by July 1st, for Canada 150, to ensure that there is enough blood to meet patient needs throughout the summer. As of today, we’re not on track to meet that target,” said Vice President of Canadian Blood Services Mark Donnison.

Territory Manager Shaun Richer added there is a constant need for blood donations. During the summer months donations decrease, and Canadian Blood Services need to be prepared for emergency situations.

Canadian Blood Services have a three-day supply of blood, however they need a five to eight day supply to be fully prepared. Canada needs 20,000 to 25,000 units of blood, and right now only has 12,0000 to 14,0000 units, Richer added, “People should know they are literally saving a life, and it doesn’t take a lot of time to donate.”

There is a high demand for blood, it’s quickly used, and it does expire, so it can’t be collected by hospitals, officials added, blood can be shipped outside of Alberta to surrounding provinces if needed.

Richer said hospitals have been asked to reduce the amount of blood used, in order to maintain a supply for emergency situations. Which results in a delay of elective surgeries.

Richer added the mobile donation clinics are quite successful in the surrounding area, however, Red Deer has 492 open appointments to fill in the clinic before July 1st to meet their goal of 150,000 filled appointments. Donation appointments can be made through the Canadian Blood Services web site, or the App.

Encourage someone to donate today,” Richer said.