As surgeries resume, Sask. has need for blood donors

Canadian Blood Services in Saskatchewan says it is looking to fill 1,700 blood donation appointments by the end of the month as postponed surgeries will begin to resume.

Lisa Beechinor is the territory manager of donor relations in Saskatoon and says 1,000 appointments are available in the city and 700 in Regina.

“With hospitals resuming normal procedures, there is an increased demand for blood. And also, with it being the summer months, donors aren't around as much. They're leaving town ... donating blood isn’t the top of mind,” Beechinor told CTV News.

Beechinor is asking that before people go on holidays, they book an appointment.

On Tuesday Canadian Blood Services issued a release saying 23,000 donors are needed across the country and are looking specifically for O-negative blood types.

Donors with O-negative blood types are part of a select group whose donations are compatible with everyone, the news release said.

Beechinor adds during the summer months there is an increase of traffic accidents and with that comes a higher demand of blood.

“With a crash victim it can take up to 50 donors in order to help that victim.”

While blood donations are needed all year round, Beechinor says there needs to be consistency in order to maintain its national inventory.

'UPLIFTING EXPERIENCE'

Bill Forsberg has been donating blood for 50 years. He grew up in Outlook and has given 83 donations since the age of 18. While he hasn’t been able to donate in the last few years, his grandchildren have stepped up to become donors and carry on the tradition.

In February he found himself on the other end of the needle. He underwent major back surgery, receiving six screws and two rods in his back. Afterwards he needed a blood transfusion.

“It was a good feeling, very good ... I got a fraction of my blood back I guess if you look at it that way,” Forsberg told CTV News.

“Other people were there for me as I have been in the past as well for them.”

He says for people looking to donate, they should try and make it fun so that they can repeat their appointments and continue to go back.

“The nurses and the people taking the blood are very good people. It’s kind of an uplifting experience actually.”