Desperate Need for Blood Donors


Canadian Blood Services needs 23,000 blood donors by July 31.

According to local Territory Manager Marisa Gatfield, the donations are needed to replenish the blood inventory following a sustained rise in demand as COVID-19 restrictions ease. 

"Every donation appointment needs to be filled." she says. "As you know, many regions across Canada have begun the reopening plans allowing hospitals to resume hospital procedures that were put on hold due to COVID, so patients in our community and across the Canada need the help of donors now."

Speaking on AM800's The Afternoon News, Gatfield says even without COVID, summer is typically a slower time of year for donations.

"More travel and now as the economy begins to open up people are feeling safer, COVID cases are being reduced so blood donation isn't always top of mind."

According to Gatfield, the need for blood is ongoing because it has a shelf-life of 42 days, "And it takes many donors to help save someone," she adds. "For example, it could take up to eight blood donors a week to help someone with leukemia, it could take up to five donors to help someone undergo heart surgery and up to 50 donors to help someone that is a crash victim. So the need is constant."

While all blood types help patients, there is a specific need for donors with O-negative blood type. Donors with O-negative blood, the universal blood type, are part of a select group whose donations are compatible with everyone. During an emergency, when there is no time to check a patient's blood type, O-negative is used.

Appointments are still required to donate blood at this time in compliance with the Public Health Agency of Canada's direction to enable physical distancing.


— With files from AM800's Patty Handysides