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Canadian Blood Services in need of more donations as surgeries resume

Facing increased demand, Canadian Blood Services is calling on residents to donate, rolling out clinics even on Labour Day in Wellesley to help the cause.

“We are in need of more donors than we typically are just because we’re seeing a rapid increase in demand for blood across the country including locally, just as the restrictions lift from COVID-19 and we’re seeing surgeries resuming again, procedures resuming and people just out and about, which just means that we’re back to sort of those normal accidents and other reasons that people would require blood,” said Emma Willms, regional program manager at Canadian Blood Services.

“The need for blood never stops and sometimes even though we’re collecting what we call a whole blood donation, sometimes those are taken back to our production facility in Brampton and they are made into multiple different products, including separating out the platelets in the plasma, which are commonly used in cancer treatments. They only have a very short shelf life, so that means that we need to be in operation constantly, collecting constantly, including on holidays like Labour Day so that we can meet patient demand across the country and locally.”

Clinics such as the one help in Wellesley on Monday help meet the rising needs of local hospitals, as well.

“We set our targets based on demand from our local hospitals, and we actually recently had to increase our targets at many of our events, to meet the rising demand across the country and locally,” said Willms.

“September marks the beginning of childhood cancer awareness month. An interesting statistic is that all types of blood products are commonly used in cancer treatments, in particular, leukemia. Leukemia patients, including children, can need up to eight blood donations each week that they’re undergoing cancer treatment, so that’s huge. And all of those donations come from generous people who volunteer their time and come out and donate blood. Without donors we wouldn’t be able to provide the care that these cancer patients and all other blood recipients need,” she added.

Canadian Blood Services expects the increased demand will continue into the fall. With surgeries ramping back up, more people will require donations. To find more when clinics are being held, visit the organization’s website.

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