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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

It seems the call for blood donors is being responded to, however ... “This effort is a marathon, not a sprint” says Canadian Blood Services


A week and a half ago I wrote the commentary ... “While the national inventory is currently strong, an increase in blood donor cancellations is a warning sign of potential challenges to maintaining a health inventory of blood

It was written as a result of talk about a potential blood shortage that would occur if people stopped donating due to the COVID-19 virus. It seems the call to Canadians was responded to, however, as I was told this afternoon ... “This effort is a marathon, not a sprint”.

As it now stands now, donors are able to attend clinics which are held in Vancouver (2), Victoria, Surrey, and in Kelowna, so I asked if there any plans to re-establish traveling clinics to others communities - for example in Kamloops, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Revelstoke or Cranbrook, and perhaps further north at perhaps Ft. St. John?

According to Communications Lead Regional Public Affairs Specialist Marcelo Dominguez, Canadian Blood Services is still only able to continue their current collection locations. This is based on several factors ... including the number of units of blood collected, labour and transportation costs, the distance and access to the nearest production site and the need to operate an efficient blood system”.

Responding to questions I posed during our conversation, Dominguez stated; “Canadian Blood Services works in a highly-regulated environment that demands that the blood we collect at our mobile donor centres be delivered for manufacturing within a very tight time frame.

Holding a donor centre in a more remote location could impact our ability to ship the blood quickly to our manufacturing sites. Ultimately, logistical challenges mean that we must focus on collecting blood in more densely-populated areas”.

While there is strong community support for patients in many parts of BC, Canadian Blood Services is not able to accommodate all potential donors through-out the province, with the existing donor centre locations.

According to Dominguez ... “It is difficult for us knowing there are people who wish to donate blood but because of distance are unable to do so”.


Still Canadian Blood Services wants people to know there are other important options that those outside donor locations can consider.

For example, according to Dominguez, British Columbians can help by becoming potential stem cell, or organ and tissue, donors. (For details see the “Stem Cells” and "Organs & Tissues" drop down menus at the top of https://blood.ca).

And as for those blood donor clinics in Vancouver, Victoria, Surrey, and Kelowna?

Since our call for support on March 16, we have seen a notable increase in blood donations that has helped maintain the blood inventory in the short term, and we thank donors for their generosity”, Dominguez observed.

Still, there is a continuing need for donors to help maintain an adequate level of blood and blood products for patients.

Since blood products have a limited shelf life, demand is constant”, said Dominguez, who then concluded;

We will keep reminding people about this as we work through the evolving COVID-19 situation.”

----------------------

For those living in the Vancouver, Victoria, Surrey, and Kelowna areas please note the following information regarding clinic times and locations:

Downtown Vancouver - 2nd Floor - 888 Dunsmuir Street
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11am to 6pm


Kelowna103-1865 Dilworth Drive
Tues, Wed, and Thurs from 11am to 6pm


Surrey -- 15285 101 Avenue
Wednesday and Thursday from 1pm to 7pm
Friday from 11am to 5pm
Saturday 8:30am to 3pm


Vancouver (Oak Street) -- 4750 Oak Street
Monday: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday to Friday from 11am to 6pm
Saturday: 8:30am to 3:30pm


Victoria - 3449 Saanich Road
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11am to 6pm
Friday from 8:30am to 2:30pm
Saturday from 9am to 4pm
People can also download the GiveBlood app, and book now at https://blood.ca/en/blood/donor-centre-hours-locations

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