Kathy Gracie with Canadian Blood Services says the Halifax clinic has nearly 600 vacant spots that need to be filled before the end of August.
The number of people who donate blood has dropped since the beginning of the pandemic, making the donor base the smallest it’s been in a decade, says Canadian Blood Services.
“Donating blood is very empowering. It’s something that you can do and when you leave the clinic you can leave with your head held high knowing you just saved a life,” Gracie told Global News.
During the summer months, the Halifax clinic often has a decline in donors, but Gracie says the need for blood actually increases during the summer.
“There is no substitute for human blood. It never gets to take a vacation or a summer holiday.” says Gracie.
Although Gracie says the clinic “needs to just get people in the doors to donate” regardless of blood type, there is a specific need for the universal ‘O negative’ donor.
“Only seven per cent of the population have O negative. So if you are O negative you definitely need to come and donate.” she says.
Darrell Lind has been donating blood since he was 17 years old. He told Global News that today was the 547th time he donated blood.
“Give it a try. It doesn’t hurt,” he says.
After her 186th donation, Annette Thompson agrees.
“I am terrified of needles and I’m in donating about once a week. It’s a very easy process. They have free chips and cookies. There’s A/C. You’re giving the gift of life and it’s just so important.”
Gracie says the process is quick and easy. Donors are in and out within an hour of walking through the door.
“You only spend about 10-15 minutes in the chair actually donating blood.” says Gracie.
If you are interested in donating blood, call 1-888-2-DONATE or visit http://www.blood.ca
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