EARLIER I CHECKED WITH Canada Blood Services, as I had noticed talk about a potential blood shortage, if people stopped donating blood due to the COVID-19 virus. Delphine, a representative from Blood Services, was kind enough to provide the following to the questions I put to her:
Many people are feeling concerned about the uncertainty of COVID-19 and avoiding preventable interactions. It is perfectly understandable but as a result, we have recorded a recent increase in appointment cancellations in several cities related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the national inventory is currently strong, this significant increase in cancellations is a warning sign of potential challenges to maintaining a healthy inventory of blood and blood products for patients in Canada.
To ensure we can continue to meet the needs of Canadian patients, we need everyone who is eligible and healthy to continue to book and honour their appointments to donate blood
— see list of donor locations at the end of this story —
Individual and group cancellations can have a dramatic impact on patients in Canada who continue to need blood products to treat cancers, trauma, and many surgeries. The increase in blood donation appointment cancellations is worrying, but a benefit of operating a national blood system is our ability to shift products around the country to meet hospital and patient needs.
Canadians rely on us to keep the blood system safe. We take this responsibility seriously.
We want to reassure the public that our clinics are safe. We are adhering to the guidance of subject matter experts, and federal and provincial agencies.
Our protocols for screening donors and cleaning our sites have always been extremely robust — respiratory infections are common and we are prepared. However, as information about COVID-19 quickly evolves, we are taking additional measures to enhance our protocols to better protect anyone who comes through our doors.
Our donor centres are places of wellness within Canada’s health system. Only healthy people are eligible to donate blood. All prospective donors are carefully screened for any symptoms of illness.
We have a strong record of responding quickly and effectively to public health issues, as demonstrated in the past with West Nile Virus, Chagas, SARS, MERS, Zika and H1N1.
To ensure we can continue to meet the needs of Canadian patients, we need everyone who is eligible and healthy to continue to book and honour their appointments to donate blood.
You can download the GiveBlood app … book now at https://blood.ca/en/blood/donor-centre-hours-locations … or make plans to attend a clinic at any of the following locations:
DONATE NOW – Downtown Vancouver – 2nd Floor – 888 Dunsmuir Street
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11am to 6pm
DONATE NOW — Kelowna – 103-1865 Dilworth Drive
Tues, Wed, and Thurs from 11am to 6pm
DONATE NOW — Surrey — 15285 101 Avenue|
Wednesday and Thursday from 1pm to 7pm
Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
DONATE NOW — Vancouver (Oak Street) — 4750 Oak Street
Monday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
DONATE NOW — Victoria – 3449 Saanich Road
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
PLEASE NOTE … for those of us here in #Kamloops, there will be a blood donor clinic on March 23 at the Oasis Church (1205 Rogers Way) — apologies however the website doesn’t give a time it’s being held.
Alan Forseth is a Kamloops resident and former member of the Reform Party of Canada and the B.C. Reform Party, and a past and current member of the BC Conservative Party. His blog is My Thoughts on Politics and More.