Canadian Blood Services (CBS) is urging the public to continue donating blood in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Isra Levy, CBS’s vice-president of medical affairs and intervention, said the agency is worried about a spike in appointment cancellations.
He said, although Canada’s inventory is currently strong, the cancellations are particularly concerning in light of blood shortages already being reported in other countries affected by the pandemic.
“Patients depend on these lifesaving donations,” he said.
“Every day they are needed for patients undergoing surgery and cancer treatment, as well as to save lives following traumas such as motor vehicle accidents.”
Levy said that donating blood in Canada continues to be safe, and that “robust” cleaning and infection-control practices protect all donors, staff and volunteers.
He said all prospective donors are also carefully screened for any symptoms of illness, including very mild ones.
The screening occurs during both appointment booking and upon arrival at the donor centre or event. Those with any symptoms are not allowed to donate blood and are instructed not to visit, Levy said.
Visit blood.ca or call 1-888-236-6283 for more information or to make an appointment. Walk-in appointments are also available at all locations.