Rising numbers of accidents, surgeries driving need for blood donors

·2 min read
Province is in need for all types of blood, but especially type O negative and B negative. (Shutterstock / Azami Adiputera - image credit)
Province is in need for all types of blood, but especially type O negative and B negative. (Shutterstock / Azami Adiputera - image credit)

An increase in accidents and surgeries coupled with dwindling blood supply has Canadian Blood Services urging New Brunswickers to roll up their sleeves and donate.

During the early days of the pandemic, the need for blood decreased because hospitals were not doing as many surgeries due to COVID restrictions.

But over a year later, hospitals are now scheduling surgeries and procedures that were delayed by the pandemic.

The need for blood has now surpassed pre-COVID-19 levels in provincial hospitals, Canadian Blood Services says.

The need has also increased in emergency departments, which are seeing an uptick in accidents because people are getting out more than they did earlier in the pandemic.

Peter MacDonald, regional director for Canadian Blood Services, said several blood donation clinics are scheduled for the province and urged people to get out and donate.

"It's important that supply and demand meet, and that's why we have that message out there ... as we head into the Labour Day long weekend," said MacDonald.

"If you're not able to over the Labour Day long weekend, certainly as we head into September and get back to regular routines, you know, your gift is needed at any point in time."

MacDonald said while all blood types are needed, there is a pressing need for O negative and B negative blood.

While several pandemic restrictions have been lifted across the province, there are still some protocols in place at blood clinics, he said.

All donors will be required to wear masks at clinics, and all staff will be masked as well.

In clinics where physical distancing isn't possible, acrylic barriers will be in place for the safety of donors and staff.

But one key element hasn't changed, MacDonald said.

"The biggest piece is that the cookies and the juice are still there," he said.

"However, they're on a grab-and-go basis," he added, noting, "We're not asking people in the refreshment area to lower their mask."

A full list of clinics, and any restrictions on giving blood, can be found at the Canadian Blood Services website.

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