Canadian Blood Services says it is struggling to replenish the very low domestic supply caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organization says the virus, which has been persistent since March 2020, has provided the smallest donor base in 10 years.
“Since the pandemic began, the number of people making regular donations across Canada has dropped by 31,000, which has put a strain on the existing donor community,” said Chief of Supply Chain. Rick Plinsen, Vice President of Donor Relations, said. Canadian blood service.
“Many of our regular donors already donate multiple times a year.”
This service monitors the inventory of blood and blood products that are regularly moved nationwide to meet the needs of hospitals and patients.
About 400,000 Canadians give blood on a regular basis.
However, inventory has a shelf life of 1 year for frozen plasma, 42 days for red blood cells, and 5 days for platelets. Therefore, some work is required to ensure that supply continues to meet demand.
Canadian Blood Services hopes that this year’s National Blood Donation Week will help attract 100,000 new blood donors. However, summer is traditionally a late donation period as people cancel reservations or take vacations.
“Currently, the loss of donors due to COVID-19 is exacerbating, and restrictions over the last two years have prevented us from recruiting new donors at direct community events,” said Prinzen.
“Patients’ lives depend on the arrival of new donors.”
The need for blood products has dramatically decreased as the pandemic almost stopped the trip and canceled everything except the most important surgery.
At the same time, Canadian Blood Services was unable to accommodate many donors due to physical distance requirements in the clinic, so the two balanced each other.
But with things back to normal, demand is on the rise, Plinsen said.
Eric Polo, 15, from Toronto, receives a monthly blood product because of a rare condition that affects his body’s red blood cell production.
“They keep me alive,” he said.
“I am grateful for the work of the blood donor.”