Canadian Blood Services is feeling the strain to collect blood, platelets, and plasma following low attendance at donor centres across Canada and is issuing a call for people of all blood types to donate over the coming weeks.
The national blood inventory has declined by 25 per cent since the start of April, says Rick Prinzen, the agency’s chief supply chain officer.
“Donor attendance had remained strong during past waves of COVID-19, but we have seen a notable shift since mid-March,” he says. “We have experienced a 10 per cent increase in late cancellations and missed appointments influenced by recent illness, isolation requirements, and the lifting of restrictions.”
Prinzen calls the situation “precarious” as the country emerges from the sixth wave of COVID-19.
“Given the uncertainty of future variants and what living with COVID-19 is going to look like, along with the increased need for donors over the summer months that are typically a challenging time for blood and plasma collections, patients rely on new and returning donors to show up and help us this week, next month, and for months to come,” he says. “Lives depend on it.”
The Windsor Blood Donor Centre at 3909 Grand Marais Rd. E. is open from 3 to 7 p.m. Mondays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays, and 8 a.m. to noon Fridays and Saturdays.
To book an appointment to donate, download the GiveBlood app, call 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283) or book now at blood.ca.