Blood donations needed as summer winds down

Officials say the national inventory has declined this summer

The national blood inventory has steadily declined this summer and needs a boost to continue to meet the needs of patients through the coming weeks. Canadian Blood Services is asking people to give blood as summer continues to wind down.

“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,” said Mark Donnison, vice president of donor relations. “Platelets derived from blood are critical to help stop bleeding and unfortunately expire just five days after a blood donation.”

The Canada Safety Council reports that, “More fatalities occur on Canadian roads during summer months than any other time of year.” It can take up to 50 donors to help save someone who has been in a motor vehicle accident.

Red Deer area patients need donors’ help. Officials are asking that Red Deerians consider helping maintain the needed inventory by donating at local clinics.

According to the Canadian Blood Services’ web site, to become a blood donor in Canada you must be in good general health, feeling well and able to perform your normal activities, you also must be at least 17-years-old and meet height and weight requirements if you are between 17- and 23-years-old.

On the day of your donation, it is important that you have eaten and had adequate sleep. If you’re 61 or older and have not donated before, your eligibility must be assessed by a doctor.

Remember, if you do not meet the requirements today, there are lots of other ways to get involved with Canadian Blood Services. Plus, you can always check in to see if your eligibility has changed.

According to the Canadian Blood Services, ideally, they should have 20,000 – 30,000 units of blood in their inventory. Canadian Blood Services needs to collect a minimum of 16,000 units of blood each week to meet the needs of patients.

As well, platelets expire after five days, red blood cells expire after 42 days and plasma expires after one year, making donations all the more critical, officials added.

To book an appointment to give blood, use the Give Blood App or visit www.blood.ca. Those with appointments are encouraged to keep their appointment and, if possible, bring a friend or family member to donate with them. Walk-ins are also welcome.

Canadian Blood Services is a not-for-profit, charitable organization operating at arm’s length from government. Its sole mission is to manage the blood supply for Canadians. Created in 1998, it is the successor to the Canadian Red Cross Blood Program and the Canadian Blood Agency (the former funding arm of Canada’s blood supply system).

Check out the status of the national blood inventory on www.blood.ca.

– Fawcett

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