Canadian Blood Services is urging blood donors to help combat ongoing weather-related losses of collections by making an appointment to give blood at their next local blood donor clinic.
“Winter storms, like the ones we experienced last week, have a ongoing ripple effect on our blood collection,” said Genevieve Battams, donor services manager for Northeastern Ontario and Nunavat.
“If we have to close a clinic due to weather, as we did in Sudbury last week, other businesses are closing, too.
"The next day, people are usually busy digging out of the storm, and businesses that would normally have allowed employees to come in to donate during company time are themselves trying to make up for missed business days.
"So not only do we lose collections on the day of the storm, we lose them for several days after that.”
The need for blood is ongoing, with most donations shipped to hospitals for patient use within five days.
Battams estimates that collections in her region are down by approximately 600 donations because of weather-related issues so far in 2013.
“We know we are just at the beginning of February, typically the worst month of the year for winter-related collection losses,” said Battams.
“So, we are urging people across the region to please donate blood on those days when they can make it safely to a clinic. It might not be snowing in Sudbury, but it might be snowing somewhere else, and your donation would be helping to make up the shortfall.”
Walk-ins are accepted, but appointments can be made by calling 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283) or by visiting www.blood.ca.