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40,000 blood donors needed this summer as demand increases

Donations decreased during the pandemic, while demand is increasing across Canada as surgeries resume
2021 07 30 blood donor clinic

Canadian Blood services needs donors to meet the rising demand for blood during the summer. 

This time of year often sees decreasing donations with people travelling and school being out, but there is also an increased need. 

“The summer season often translates to a higher number of accidents on the road that cause a great potential of injuries requiring blood transfusions,” Malvika Arun, a donor relations manager with Canadian Blood Services, said. “To give you an example, just one accident victim in a serious car crash could need up to 50 units of blood.”

She also said the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and reduced hospitalizations has meant the return of many medical procedures at hospitals — which means the need for blood is increasing. 

However, the pandemic has impacted the number of donors coming in, as they have had to transition to appointments only. 

“We are, unfortunately, seeing a higher cancellation rate,” Arun said, adding that in the past, they were able to offset no-shows with walk-ins but that’s not the case anymore. 

With people working from home, they have not held many of their corporate clinics, however, community centres have continued to provide space for them. 

“Most of our mobile donation events in York Region have remained in operation during the pandemic,” Arun said.  

Despite that, she said blood inventory levels are lower than normal right now. 

In an effort to raise awareness of the issue, Canadian Blood Services has launched a Days of Giving campaign. 

While the initiative, which uses social media to spread their message, is normally run in December to combat a holiday-related drop in donors, they have decided with the increased demand to do it now. 

“From now until early September across Canada we need 40,000 blood donors in order to replenish the blood inventory levels,” Arun said. 

The service has added thousands of appointments to make that happen. 

In York Region, there is a permanent donor centre in Richmond Hill’s Hillcrest Mall, where you can make appointments five days a week. 

Donors can also look for mobile centres coming in the near future. 

In Newmarket, a clinic will be held at the Optimist Youth Centre at 55 Forhan Ave. on Monday, Oct. 4. 

Another mobile centre will be held at the Newmarket Community Centre at 200 Doug Duncan Dr. on Friday, Oct. 22. 

Donors must book their time slot in advance as walk-ins are no longer accepted. Appointments can be made for both of the Newmarket dates through the Canada Blood Services website, through the Give Blood app, or by calling 1-888-2DONATE.