Canadian Blood Services in Nova Scotia says it has an urgent need for donors to step in to help fill vacant appointment spots for this weekend and the weeks ahead.
Kathy Gracie, the territory manager for Halifax, said 40,000 blood donors are needed in Canada from now until early September.
She said right now there are 130 vacant appointments in the coming week that need to be filled in Halifax, including 14 on Natal Day.
She said there tends to be more car accidents during the summer months, leading to an increased need for blood transfusions.
Gracie said while the organization normally sees a drop in donations in summer when people are travelling and engaging in outdoor activities, the pandemic has added complications.
"This summer is a little bit different and a little bit more difficult for us with the ease of COVID restrictions and the demand for blood rising in the hospital," she said.
In addition to urging members of the public to book a donation appointment on their website or by calling 1-888-236-6283, Gracie said it is important that people honour their appointments.
"If you did make an appointment and you don't think you're going to make it, it's better to cancel in advance," she said. "That gives us time to fill them rather than trying to scramble the day of to fill an appointment."
Although Canadian Blood Services is looking for donors for all blood types, O negative donors are especially welcome. O negative red blood cells are compatible with all blood types.
The entire process takes about an hour, with the blood donation itself only lasting about 15 minutes.
She said donors will be asked COVID-19 screening questions. A clerk will then take their information and register them, and then they are asked to fill out a questionnaire.
Gracie said a nurse will then take the donor for more screening. Once they have met the requirements the tests the blood donation can begin.
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