Canadian Blood Services has an urgent call out for blood donors over the holiday season. (THE NEWS/files)

Canadian Blood Services has an urgent call out for blood donors over the holiday season. (THE NEWS/files)

Blood donors needed in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Canadian Blood Services has an urgent call out to fill thousands of empty appointments in the New Year.

Canadian Blood Services has issued an urgent call for eligible donors to fill thousands of appointments across the country.

There was an increase in donations after the call to fill 35,000 open appointments on Dec. 18. However, there are still 18,000 appointments that still need to be filled.

Canadian Blood Services manages the national supply of blood, blood products, stem cells and related services for Canada, excluding Quebec. The organization operates an integrated, pan-Canadian service delivery model that includes leading an inter-provincial system for organ donation and transplantation. It is a not-for-profit charitable organization that is regulated as a biologics manufacturer by Health Canada and primarily funded by the provincial and territorial ministries of health.

Although all blood types help patients in need, the organization is especially looking for those with O-negative blood because O-negative blood is a universal blood type that is compatible with everyone and can be given to anyone in an emergency situation.

Canadian Blood Services want to remind existing and new donors that collection centres will be open on New Year’s Day. Pre-booked appointments are preferred but walk-ins will continue to be accepted.

“It can be tough during the holiday season to take an hour to give life but donors must continue to answer the call for blood, especially during the weeks of Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Every donation is important and we still need donors to book appointments and, even more importantly, to keep them,” said Rick Prinzen, Canadian Blood Services’ Chief Supply Chain Officer, in a press release.

To book an appointment download the GiveBlood app available for iOS on the App Store or for Android on Google Play, call 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283), or visit blood.ca.

• The next clinic in Maple Ridge is on Dec. 29 at Maple Ridge Alliance Church, 20399 Dewdney Trunk Road.