Canadian Blood Services seek more donations during summer lull

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Canadian Blood Services is calling on donors of all blood types to replenish the blood supply after a drop in summer donations.

David Patterson, Canadian Blood Services director of donor relations for the B.C. and Yukon region, says they generally aim to have a five-day supply of blood available, but right now, they’re at about four days.

“When people ask me about what are slow times, it’s whenever you’re thinking of having fun with friends and family — the summer, Christmastime, long weekends — those are times when we need donors, because the need doesn’t stop … We need blood all the time.”

Ronald Pong, blood donor

Ronald Pong has donated blood more than 100 times. (Margaret Gallagher/CBC)

The organization launched the Sirens for Life campaign which encourages emergency service workers, such as police, fire and ambulance workers, to donate.

Vancouver Police Department spokesman Constable Brian Montague was one of the participants.

“We go to a lot of other calls where people are sent to hospital: victims of crimes, victims of car crashes — they need blood. This is something that is truly a life-saving gift,” he said.

Nobody knows that better than Dalji Kaur-Sanders, a cancer survivor, who has received blood and stem cells.

“If I hadn’t gone when I went and received the seven units of blood when I did, I never would have made it to this point,” she said.

Dalji Kaur Sanders

Dalji Kaur-Sanders, a cancer survivor, has received blood and stem cells. (Daniel Beauparlant/CBC)

“I beat the odds, and it’s because of every single person who says I’m actually going to donate.”

Extensive screening

The donation process includes an extensive screening process, with a private questionnaire about medical, sexual and travel history.

Canadian Blood Services needs to make sure your blood is healthy enough to be used by people who need it, and that your health won’t be compromised by giving blood.

Margaret Gallagher blood donation

CBC journalist, Margaret Gallagher, donates blood. Check out the audio link (below) to hear her segment. (CBC)

Appointments can be booked ahead online, and Canadian Blood Services says donors should factor in around an hour from start to finish.

With files from The Early Edition

To hear the segment, click on the link labelled Canadian Blood Services looking for more donations


Canadian Blood Services seek more donations during summer lull

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