Canadian Blood Services views donating blood as an essential service.
A news release was issued by the organization on March 16 reminding Canadians that it is safe to donate blood during the COVID-19 outbreak, and that it is critical for patients.
A blood donor clinic at Maple Ridge Alliance Church was well attended on Friday (March 20), however, that will need to continue in order to meet demands.
“We’re urging donors to consider booking appointments over the next few weeks to help us maintain an adequate level of blood, and blood products for patients, because the need for blood is constant,” said Canadian Blood Services public affairs spokesperson, Marcelo Dominguez.
He said it would be wise to view the battle against COVID-19 as a marathon, not a sprint.
“We’re pleased by the response that we’ve seen from Canadians to donate blood and help patients, but we’ve also got to remind folks to keep patents in mind in the weeks and months ahead.
“[Donors] are still going to be needed, as blood has a limited shelf life. Like carton of milk, it has to get replaced regularly.
“I know we’ve all heard from our health leaders, who have been advocating that folks stay at home for all but essential activities, and donating bloods something we regard as essential.”
Those interested in learning more about the precautions blood clinics are taking can visit blood.ca.
Canadian Blood Services is reminding potential donors, their donor centres are places of wellness in Canada’s health system.
“In addition to our strong cleaning and infection control practices – considering the recent developments with COVID-19 – we have introduced enhanced cleaning measures, wellness stations and social distancing measures to protect anyone who comes through our doors,” Dominguez said.
“That couples with the reality that only healthy people are eligible to donate blood.
“If you’re coming in to donate blood for a hospital patient in the best of times– when its’ normal – we have eligibility criteria that donors get carefully screened for any symptoms of illness, if they’ve travelled –there’s any number of criteria – and you do have to feel and be healthy to donate.”
Future clinics take place at Maple Ridge Alliance Church on April 3 and 17, as well as May 1 and 15.