Canadian Blood Services desperately needs donors in the Ottawa area

“You take about 60 minutes out of your day and you’re literally a part of saving someone’s life directly.”

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Canadian Blood Services says it desperately needs new donors this summer, in Ottawa and across the country.

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Notably, there are roughly 3,000 donation appointments to complete in and around Ottawa by the end of August, said Brandon Peacock, CBS community development manager.

He said CBS is seeing a drop in blood donations this summer, mainly due to the large travel aid precipitated by the relaxation of public health restrictions, which means many of the organization’s regular donors are unavailable. .

With those donors gone, CBS is looking to recruit new donors to donate blood.

“For recipients undergoing leukemia treatments, up to 10 donors a week are needed to continue their fight,” Peacock said, noting that a substantial amount of blood is also needed to help cancer and trauma patients.

Two years ago, Peacock was one of those patients who received a blood donation. “I needed about 50 donations in one night just to stay alive,” he explained.

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Peacock said that while most people donate financially to charity, donating blood costs nothing and simply takes a few minutes out of your day.

“You take about 60 minutes out of your day and you’re literally a part of saving someone’s life directly.”

First-time donors must be in good general health, at least 17 years old, and able to perform daily activities. The CBS website offers a two-minute eligibility test on your website. If eligible, prospective donors can schedule an appointment. Final eligibility will be determined by CBS staff at the donation center.

As of May 9, 2022, donors who have traveled to the United States, Europe and Antarctica no longer need to wait a 14-day period before donating blood. Travelers to all other countries must still wait 21 days before donating.

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With the August civic holiday approaching, CBS is ramping up its efforts to recruit donors. Peacock said dating during the holidays tends to be harder to keep, but the need for blood during this time doesn’t go away.

“People just assume someone else is going to step up and donate,” he said.

“We just need the community to step up.”

Collectively, CBS has estimated that it needs about 100,000 new donors across the country by the end of the year to meet demand.

Also complicating matters was the recent Rogers blackout across the country. CBS platforms like blood.ca and the GiveBlood app were unavailable for about a day due to the outage, leading to missed appointments.

Peacock urged potential donors to take an hour out of their day to see if they are eligible and “do what you can to literally save someone else.”

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