23K blood donors needed by end of month as surgical procedures resume across Canada

TORONTO — Canadian Blood Services has issued an urgent appeal for blood donations as surgical procedures put on hold during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic begin again.

Ontario currently has more than 9,000 open appointments to donate blood, and more than 23,000 blood donors are needed by July 31, according to a release.

“Most provinces have begun, or will begin, to phase in their reopening plans which has increased demand for blood products above pre-COVID-19 levels as hospitals ramp up surgical procedures that were put on hold,” the release states.

The Canadian Blood Services said that while all blood types help patients, there is a specific need for donors with O-negative blood type, which is known as the “universal donor,” as their blood donation is compatible with everyone.

The organization said that with COVID-19 restrictions easing, the donation centres are noticing a drop in attendance rates.

“Canadians are enjoying greater freedom after months of following COVID-19 safety measures, while hospitals are tackling a backlog of medical procedures,” said Canadian Blood Services chief supply chain officer and vice-president of donor relations Rick Prinzen in the release.

“There’s an immediate need for new and returning donors to fill all open appointments to meet demand and support patients’ needs this summer. Patients in your community and across Canada need your help right now.”

Canadian Blood Services also noted that the summer months in Canada typically coincide with higher numbers of accidents on the road “with a greater potential of injuries requiring blood transfusions.”

The organization said that it will maintain all of the COVID-19 safety protocols in all of its facilities across the country, adding that appointments are still required to donate blood, in accordance with the Public Health Agency of Canada’s mandate on physical distancing.

Canadian Blood Services said in the release that many “same day” and open appointment spots are available every day at donation centres and community events.

To find an appointment near you, call 1-888-2-DONATE or 1-888-236-6283 or book online at blood.ca

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