Canadian Blood Services always needs donations

The need might not be a significant as it was earlier this year, but the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) is always in need of donations.

The agency will host a blood donor clinic at the Estevan Leisure Centre’s multipurpose room Tuesday at 3 p.m.

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Aaron Barlow, the territory manager, donor relations for the CBS, said the agency has seen very strong support over the last few weeks since the CBS issued an appeal for donations.

“All of our respective territories and donor centres, and mobile donor centres, have been really, really strong, so we have seen a big call and a response to the need for blood that we had put out just before the long weekend,” said Barlow.

But Barlow also stressed that the need for blood is constant. They always see a slide in appointments in the summer months, which is why they issued the appeal in August, so they need someone to fill those appointments.

“Every minute of every day, somebody in Canada needs blood or blood products, and by supporting clinics, by continuing to make blood donation appointments in our donor centres and mobile donor centres, you’re ensuring that hospital patients’ needs … are going to be met,” said Barlow.

Some first-time donors have stepped forward, and Barlow said they are crucial to meeting Canada’s future blood needs. He estimates 105,000 new donors will be needed in Canada this year.

Barlow stressed there’s a good chance people will know someone who will need blood during their lives.

“It can take eight donors a week to help somebody who is going through leukemia, or five donors to help somebody who is going through a cancer treatment, and in an unfortunate event like a car accident, it can take upwards of 50 donors to help somebody,” said Barlow.

One in two people is eligible to donate, but Barlow said only one in 60 will make a donation.

People are encouraged to book an appointment in advance of the Estevan clinic. It’s also important for people make it to that appointment, and to notify the CBS if they can’t be there. Their mobile clinics are busy, and if someone notifies the CBS they can’t make it, then that will allow the CBS to get somebody else in.

This isn’t a rampant problem, but it helps the organization to be prepared.

It also allows them to accept someone who wants to donate blood but doesn’t have an appointment.

“If for whatever reason you’re unable to make that appointment, now it’s a matter of scheduling logistics to ensure that our donor needs are being met,” said Barlow.

And if someone doesn’t cancel an appointment they can’t make, then it can cause other donors to have an unnecessary wait time.

“We understand that there’s been tremendous support in the communities such as Estevan and surrounding area, but that, at times, has led to longer wait times, because people are supporting the clinics. To help prevent that, we encourage people to book their appointments and ensure they are honouring those appointments.”

To book an appointment, call 1-888-2-DONATE, visit the Give Blood app on their mobile device, or visit the Canadian Blood Services website, which also has answers for questions that donors might have. 

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