Roll up your sleeves
Canadian Blood Services needs thousands of blood donations before end of June
By: By Lucy Haines
| Posted: Friday, Jun 13, 2014 04:30 pm
• To make an appointment, see blood.ca or call 1-888-2DONATE (366283).
• Nationally, 33,000 appointments need to be filled this month.
• Some 52 per cent of Canadians will need blood products in their lifetime, but only four per cent of those eligible donate.
If you’ve already pushed up your sleeves to enjoy the warm weather, Canadian Blood Services (CBS) is asking you to roll them up one more time to help boost the blood supply, now at its lowest pre-summer level in five years.
Traditionally a slow season for donations, CBS has only half of what is usually on the shelf, and is urging all Canadians – over 17 and in good health – to help rebuild the inventory.
“The blood supply is shared across Canada, so emergencies won’t be affected by a shortage, but elective surgeries may be,” said CBS communications specialist Deb Steele-Kretschmer. “We need all Albertans to make appointments, and keep them. If you can’t, then cancel so someone else can have that spot. Every donation does count.”
In the Edmonton area, over 2,000 appointments remain open through the end of June. Shaun Boyle, 59, now making his 23rd donation, said that while hearing about the shortage was a reminder, he gives every seven weeks no matter what.
“I was challenged by my students when I was a high school principal – but now I give because I know that donating blood helps more than just one person,” said Boyle, whose blood type of O positive is one of the most-needed. “So far, I haven’t convinced family and friends to give, but I’ll keep on donating every two months – see where it goes.”
While National Blood Donor Week is wrapping up, Canadian Blood Services encourages Canadians to make donating a family tradition. “Share stories through social media #familiesforblood, or rally loved ones to plan a family reunion at a blood donor clinic this summer,” said Steele-Kretschmer. As well, the organization recently launched a downloadable ‘give blood’ app to remind donors of when they’re next eligible to donate and put a reminder in the calendar.
In St. Albert, 21 appointments remain open for this Saturday’s mobile donation clinic, held at Bellerose High School from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The clinic on June 18 at St. Albert Inn is currently full, but Canadian Blood Services encourages people to keep appointments or cancel and rebook if unable to make it.
“Unfortunately, appointments are going unfilled, or are ‘no-shows,’” added Steele-Kretschmer. “Look for a mobile clinic, or head to the main clinic on 114 Street. We encourage all Albertans to make donating a regular habit.”