Demand for blood donations on the rise as COVID-19 restrictions lift

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With some provinces beginning to lift COVID-19 restrictions, the demand for blood donations in the country is increasing.

Canada is in need of more blood donors this summer, as hospitals begin procedures that were put on hold throughout the pandemic.

Canada-wide, more than 23,000 appointments have been made to receive blood by July 31. Here in Regina, more than 600 appointments need to be filled by the end of the month.

“Blood and blood products are needed every single day,” said Aaron Barlow, territory manager of Donor Relations for Canadian Blood Services.

“In the summer months, we do see an increase in demand, said Barlow. ”We always need donors coming in to ensure we have a healthy inventory for people needing blood.”

Barlow said that while blood does have a shelf life, it is generally used within five days.

While all blood types help patients, there is a specific need for donors with the O-negative blood type.

“Our O-negative blood demand is always in need,” said Barlow. “As an O-negative donor you are a universal donor, meaning it can be used with all blood types. It is what is reached for in emergency situations.”

Those interested in donating can visit the Canadian Blood Services website for more information.