Health
Canadian Blood Services faces ‘immediate’ need for blood donors with thousands of open spaces

Canadian Blood Services faces ‘immediate’ need for blood donors with thousands of open spaces

Canadian Blood Services says there is an immediate need for blood donors this holiday season, with thousands of donation appointments open across the country, including in Ontario.

About 5,600 appointments in Ontario must be booked by Jan. 15, a spokesperson for the organization said in an email to CBC News.

“The holiday season is a difficult time to collect blood,” said Rick Prinzen, head of the Canadian Blood Services supply chain and vice president of donor relations, in a statement.

“Donors are especially needed at this time to book and meet blood donation appointments ahead of the New Year.”

The nonprofit says the December holidays reduced the number of blood drive days, and it is now calling on existing and new donors to make appointments to help make up for lost days.

In particular, there is a need for platelets to treat patients with severe blood disorders and to provide cancer treatments, he says.

As an essential service, the organization will remain open during any lockdown measures and some donor centers will even remain open on New Years Day for appointments.

While the growing number of COVID-19 has changed vacation plans for many Canadians, the need for blood donation remains the same, he says.

“There is a lot of uncertainty during a pandemic, but there are always patients who need blood and blood products,” Prinzen said.

While all blood groups are needed, there is a specific need for O-negative donors, according to the organization.

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