Canadian Blood Services (CBS) is asking those eligible to consider donating plasma or blood, as national inventories of the red stuff dwindle amongst treacherous winter conditions. The service, which is a non-profit charity, oversees the collection of blood and plasma donations across Canada to ensure it’s ready for healthcare applications where necessary.
A press release by CBS states that its collection and distribution systems have been hindered by extreme weather conditions across the country. Residents are urged to book and keep appointments for blood and plasma donations in an attempt to bolster the national blood inventory. Despite the lack of donation centre options in Merritt, locals are encouraged to donate blood when they are travelling to nearby communities.
“It is difficult for us knowing there are people in Merritt who may want to donate blood but because of the distance to the nearest collection centre are unable to do so,” said CBS in a statement to the Herald.
“Individuals who meet the health requirements to donate blood can do so within British Columbia or in other locations across Canada. The next time potential blood donors in Merritt travel within Canada, the donor event locator on our website is a useful tool to help them find a donor centre nearby.”
CBS added that a number of generous donors in the Merritt area regularly donate both blood and plasma to the service. The locations of donation sites are selected based on a number of criteria, including the number of units of blood or plasma collected, the distance and access to the nearest production site, along with labour costs and logistics around transportation. Due to the relatively small pool of donors in Merritt, CBS is forced to focus on collection in larger urban centers.
Currently dealing with a shortfall of about 10 percent of their expected donations, the service hopes to bolster their donations as soon as possible. CBS said the need for platelets is ongoing and pressing for those with serious bleeding, or undergoing cancer treatments. Platelets are a vital component of blood that have a shelf life of only seven days. Regular donations of blood and plasma are needed to ensure this vital life-saving service is fully equipped.
“There are also other donor opportunities with Canadian Blood Services, and our new Give 3 in 2023 challenge can help people learn how,” added the statement.
“Participating in Give 3 in 2023 is not one-size fits all, and each person can determine what works best for them using the suggested giving commitments at 3in2023.blood.ca.”
While patients’ needs are still being met by the smallest donor base in a decade, CBS said this is not sustainable in the long run.
Those interested in donating blood or plasma can make an appointment online at www.blood.ca, on the GiveBlood app, or by calling 1-888-236-6283.