Canadian Blood Services wants thousands of Edmontonians to roll up their sleeves and donate blood between now and Nov. 11.
The University of Alberta Hospital needs more than 38,000 units of blood per year but, despite people answering the call to donate blood this past summer, the need for blood outpaces the number of donations, said Canadian Blood Services in a news release.
“As quickly as we collect blood, hospitals are calling for more. There are simply not enough people donating in Alberta to ensure patients’ needs will continue to be met long term,” said Jennifer Gretzan, associate director, donor relations, Canadian Blood Services.
Jasmin Vallarta, territory manager for Edmonton, Canadian Blood Services, told Postmedia the call for people to step up in Edmonton is to prevent patient care from being impacted.
“We are just trying to make sure that we don’t interrupt any surgeries,” she said.
“Canadian Blood Services does send Alberta hospitals more than 1,700 units of blood per week to treat patients. So, it’s important that people donate blood or other blood components, like plasma or platelets.”
Blood donations save lives, Vallarta said.
“There is no substitute for donated blood. Blood is critical for everyday medical care, including major surgeries, medical procedures, cancer treatments and managing diseases and disorders,” she said. “The need for blood is constant and it does expire after 42 days.”
The number of donors requested in Edmonton does not mean the blood will only be distributed in the city but will also be distributed to hospitals nationally, given the significant low stocks across the country, according to Canadian Blood Services. More than 2,800 donations are needed in Calgary, plus another 1,000 in Red Deer, for example.
“We are based on a national inventory, and it is low … all around,” said Vallarta. “We just want to make sure we are helping everywhere in Canada.”
Vallarta says they are open “all the time,” and asks eligible people to go to blood.ca, download the Give Blood App or call 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283) and book an appointment to donate at the Edmonton blood donor centre at 8249 114 St.
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