Canadian Blood Services says the Maritimes’ blood supply is critically low.
A decreasing donor base coupled with an increase in need has blood services putting out the call for Maritimers to roll up their sleeves.
They’re looking for more people like Thomas Duffett.
“A few weeks back, I did my 1,000th donation. Tomorrow will be my 1,004th,” Duffett says.
An effort applauded by Canadian Blood Services (CBS), but they need more.
“We have seen a steady decline in our inventories since July 1 and we’re averaging about 20 per cent below where we need to be,” says Cathy Gracie, the executive director of donor relations.
There are 1,800 open appointments in Atlantic Canada this month alone, 650 of them are at the clinic in Halifax.
“We’ve had COVID restrictions lifting and we also see a lot of COVID still happening, so we’ve got the isolation and we have people with COVID. We’ve seen unbelievable weather this summer that we haven’t seen in the Maritimes in years,” Gracie says.
This has led to the smallest donor base in a decade.
“It takes not even an hour of your time to give blood and it’s a rewarding feeling,” says blood donor Darrell Ling.
Monday, Ling gave his 547th donation. A tradition dating back more than 40 years.
“I started at 17 but I’m 59. It doesn’t matter what age, you can give it 59, 60,” Ling says.
Nationally, one in two people are eligible to donate blood but only one in eighty-one actually do, according to CBS.
“You are going to help somebody who you’ll never meet and you’re going to save their life and that’s what it’s all about,” says Duffett.
Officials with CBS say they’re seeing an increase in no-shows and late cancellations and those appointments are difficult to fill on short notice.
They’re asking anyone who thinks they can’t make the appointment to give them a call so they can try to fill the opening.
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