WINNIPEG — Manitobans are being asked to roll up their sleeves and donate blood this holiday season.
Canadian Blood Services is calling on all eligible blood donors to help them fill more than 15,000 open appointments across Canada by December 31.
In Manitoba, more than 750 donors are needed by January 4, 2021.
CBS says collection opportunities will be lost over several days because of the timing of statutory holidays this season, which could put the platelet inventory at risk. Donated blood lasts only 42 days but platelets that are commonly used to treat cancer patients have a short expiry of seven days.
The COVID-19 pandemic is also having an impact on donations, which is causing some people that would normally donate blood to decide not to this year.
“Safety is our highest priority. Enhanced wellness measures are in effect throughout all our donor centres to ensure the wellbeing of donors and our teams is safeguarded,” says Rick Prinzen, Canadian Blood Services chief supply chain officer and vice-president of donor relations.
“Not all connections can be virtual during COVID-19. We’re grateful to donors and frontline workers who have helped maintain an adequate level of blood products for patients since the onset of the pandemic. But the demand for blood never stops, even over the holidays.”
The University of Manitoba Bisons is one of the groups that have organized to donate blood collectively this year. From December 15-18, members of the Bisons and their family and friends are doing their part to fill the donation void being felt by Canadian Blood Services.
Anyone who wishes to donate can call 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283), download the GiveBlood app, or book at blood.ca.