Canadian Blood Services puts out call for 770 holiday donors across N.B.

Collecting blood can be challenging this time of year, which is why the Canadian Blood Services is asking people to give back this holiday season.

The non-profit organization estimates that 770 donors will be required across the province before Jan. 5., which will help keep inventory up.

"When you're so reliant on such a small percentage of the population, this is a time of year when people are out of their regular routine," said Peter MacDonald, the director of donor relations for the Canadian Blood Services in Atlantic Canada. 

"That's when a lot of our appointments … go empty."

While the province's blood supply was adequate throughout December, it's short-lived and can last as little as one week.

'Our inventory is very perishable'

During a blood drive, the organization draws on three components: plasma, red blood cells and platelets.

"Our inventory is very perishable. It's organic. It's always changing," he said.

There's always someone on the other end of every donor's gift. - Peter MacDonald, Canadian Blood Services

"With the seven-day shelf life for platelets it's so important that we replenish that inventory over the holidays."   

And many people think blood donations can be used after traumatic events. But it's more commonly used for transplant surgeries and cancer treatments. 

"It's every minute of every day that someone in Canada is receiving a transfusion."

Someone is always in need of blood 

While the organization does rely on national inventory, its first priority is using its supply from across the Maritimes. 

"What's collected locally gets used locally first for sure." 

MacDonald said one in two people are eligible to donate blood. Women can donate every 84 days while men can donate every 56 days. 

He said eligibility to donate is always changing and encourages residents and he wants to make it a part of everyone's routine.

"There's always someone on the other end of every donor's gift."