With the number of blood donors dropping during the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian Blood Services is making a call for people to roll up their sleeves and donate.
The pandemic has led to a steady decline in the number of people donating, said Gayle Voyer, Canadian Blood Services associate director for donor relations in B.C.
“Like other organizations across Canada, the latest COVID wave is challenging Canadian Blood Services like never before and so essentially what it means is that any illness or isolation requirements, as well as any weather impacts, all of these have affected the donor attendance and the availability of staff and added more pressure … to meet the demand to help save hospital patients,” said Voyer.
Given COVID-19, more wellness checks have been added and Voyer said people should follow general provincial health guidelines when donating. There is a questionnaire available at Canadian Blood Services’ www.blood.ca website that people can answer to see if they’re eligible.
People of all blood types can donate.
“Typically, we will call out for O negative donors, because that’s a universal donor … Normally for all blood types, we’d like to have at least a national inventory of an eight-day supply,” said Voyer.
The next blood donation clinic in Nanaimo is scheduled for Saturday, April 16, at the auditorium at Bowen Park activity centre.
“The biggest thing for preparing for a donation is making sure you’re hydrated, making sure you’re feeling well and making sure you’ve had something to eat prior to donating and just making sure that you bring government-issued ID and then we’ll walk you through the process when you come into our donor centres,” said Voyer.
For more information, go to www.blood.ca.