With many Red Deerians going away for the summer, the number of blood donors remains low.
Red Deer’s Canadian Blood Services is in need of 170 blood donors by July 1st.
Shaun Richer, territory manager, donor relations of Canadian Blood Services of Red Deer and Central Alberta encourages those who can to donate as it literally saves lives.
“The biggest thing that we try and stress to people is that blood and blood products are needed all the time. There’s a constant need. The demand is always constant because hospital patients every single day are always in need of blood,” he said.
He added that they are trying to build up their inventory and are trying to get people to schedule their donations throughout the summer because blood has a shelf life and does in fact expire.
“Typically blood has a about a 42-day shelf life,” said Richer.
He added the flip-side of the demand being so high, especially for those in Red Deer, Central Alberta and most of Alberta, is that the blood donations will stay within the province.
“Because the demand is so high, that blood that we collect doesn’t last that long.”
They get updates every day of the inventory of their blood and right now ‘O’ negative, which is known as universal blood and is used for anybody despite what their blood type is, is low.
And that, Richer said, is short right across Canada, making the need huge.
With many misconceptions out there on how long long it takes to give blood, Richer said it only takes about 40 to 45 minutes, and that’s from the moment you walk in to the moment you leave.
Coming up on July 2nd, the team at Canadian Blood Services will be heading out to Ponoka to set up what’s called a Ponoka mobile from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Kinsmen Community Centre.
There are over 60 appointments still available.