Canadian Blood Services in Halifax needs donors. The donor centre on Bayers Road has 60 open spots this week alone.
Kathy Gracie, the organization's Atlantic director, said the number is high. She said a drop in donors started about four weeks ago.
She said much of it has to do with COVID-19 affecting regulars and staff, more people travelling and needing to wait 14 days to donate again, and same-day cancellations.
"Every minute of every day, someone in Canada needs blood," Gracie said. "That's not just a slogan, it's an actual fact. And there's many reasons between car accidents and emergency situations, cancer patients, routine surgeries.... So it's very important that we have a healthy inventory for the hospitals."
In a news release, Canadian Blood Services said it needs new and returning donors to keep up with demand for blood, plasma and platelets at hospitals.
Donations down since start of pandemic
Gracie said the centre is only making 80 per cent of its donation targets.
About half of all Canadians are eligible to donate blood, but only a fraction do. The organization said in a news release that donations overall have been down since the pandemic began.
"A lot of people have different reasons for not donating and one of the most [common] is it's just not top of mind or we didn't ask," Gracie said.
"So we are asking if you ever thought about it … please come in. Now is the time where we need people to show up and roll up their sleeve."
Takes about an hour
The donor centre does not take walk-ins because of COVID-19 restrictions, but people are able to schedule same-day appointments through the Canadian Blood Services app, on its website or by calling the centre to book a same-day appointment.
Gracie said donating only takes about an hour.
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