OTTAWA — The entity in charge of the nation’s blood supply has issued an urgent call for Canadians to give blood. More than 35,000 donors are needed by Spring Break to ensure all patients continue to have access to the blood and blood products they need, according to Canadian Blood Services (CBS).
The soonest local blood donor clinic is scheduled this week in Kemptville (Feb. 23, at the North Grenville Municipal Centre).
While the national blood inventory has steadily declined over the winter months, CBS hopes that the arrival of spring will present an opportunity for Canadians to make donating blood part of their routine.
“Canadian patients rely on blood donors to live longer and healthier lives. More than 35,000 donors are needed over the next few weeks across Canada to help meet patient needs this spring,” says Rick Prinzen, the organization’s chief supply chain officer.
Patients like 10-year-old Eliel (Eli) Tepas Barba from Vancouver, B.C., understand the need for blood all too well. Diagnosed with hypodiploid acute lymphoblastic leukemia last year, Eli is currently in remission but still receives regular treatment at BC Children’s Hospital.
“Blood donors are saving Eli’s life,” says his father, Alex Tepas. “He has received countless units of blood and we’re so grateful to the people who have helped keep Eli alive.”
Other local clinics slated for the near future are scheduled in Cornwall (March 6, Cornwall Civic Complex), Embrun (March 21, Embrun Recreation Centre) and Winchester (March 29, Joel Steele Community Centre).
“There are thousands of open appointments across Canada over the next two weeks. As we emerge from a particularly challenging winter, we’re asking Canadians to donate blood so that all patients have access to blood when they need it,” says Prinzen.
Make an appointment to donate by visiting blood.ca, download the GiveBlood app or call 1-888-2-DONATE and find a nearby donation site. Walk-in appointments are also available at all locations.
A not-for-profit charitable organization, CBS manages the national supply of blood, blood products and stem cells, and related services for all provinces and territories except Quebec.