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‘Immediate need’ for blood donations during holiday season

Canada Blood Services highlights need for O-negative blood donors
A blood donor clinic pictured at a shopping mall in Calgary, Alta., Friday, March 27, 2020. Canadian Blood Services has issued another call for donations during the holiday season, with an emphasis on the need for donations of O-negative blood. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Canadian Blood Services is once again in “immediate need” of blood donors.

In a news release issued Wednesday, CBS said there are thousands of blood donation appointments to fill across Canada between now and Jan. 4.

Due to statutory holidays, several days of collection opportunities were lost.

The CBS said the need for platelets is pressing and ongoing in order to treat patients with serious blood disorders or those undergoing cancer treatments.

Platelets are a vital blood component with a shelf-life of just seven days.

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“The holiday period is a challenging time to collect blood. Every donation counts and new and returning donors are especially needed right now to book and keep blood donation appointments heading into the New Year,” said CBS chief supply chain officer Rick Prinzen.

“We have seen the dedication of donors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we need that to continue. Patients’ lives depend on them.”

While all blood types are needed, CBS highlighted O-negative blood as being critical for hospitals because it’s the only type of blood compatible with all other types.

“When seconds count, someone’s life is on the line, and there’s no time to check blood type, hospital patients in an emergency can all receive O-negative blood,” the release notes.

To book or change a blood donation appointment, locate a donor centre, or check eligibility to donate, visit

“There is a lot of uncertainty during a pandemic, but there are always patients in need of blood and blood products,” said Prinzen.

“With the exception of any temporary COVID-19 related suspensions of donor centre operations, we will remain open to ensure essential products and services are available for patients. We are calling on new and returning donors to book an appointment now, heading into January.”

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