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Canadian Blood Services looking for 1,500 new donors in Red Deer

Canadian Blood Services is seeking 1,500 new blood and plasma donors in Red Deer as part of a push to meet ongoing patient needs.
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Canadian Blood Services has launched a six-week campaign in order to find 100,000 new donors across the county. (File photo by The Canadian Press)

Canadian Blood Services is seeking 1,500 new blood and plasma donors in Red Deer as part of a push to meet ongoing patient needs.

“We find that ever since the pandemic started tailing off, we have seen participation of our regular donors kind of drop,” said Shamus Neeson, Canadian Blood Services territory manager for Red Deer and Central Alberta.

“Donor participation across Canada was sitting at about four per cent throughout the pandemic, but now … we’re dropping down to just under two per cent of the eligible population.”

Nationally, the nonprofit organization has launched a six-week campaign in order to find 100,000 new donors. The campaign will culminate on World Blood Donor Day, which is June 14.

“The need for blood doesn’t go away just because it’s a long weekend or because it’s summer or because it’s Christmas. Every minute of every day, somebody in Canada will need blood. As the year goes on that need increases,” said Neeson.

The Red Deer Canadian Blood Services office, located at 5020 68 St., currently has 100 appointments that need to be filled this upcoming long weekend, and 1,359 open appointments between now and the end of June.

A total of 15,000 appointments need to be filled in Red Deer each year, Neeson noted.

“I know that people must get tired of us always asking (for donations), but the only reason we’re asking is because we don’t have a lot of people donating. We need people to donate and we need those new donors because we don’t have a lot of blood coming in. We need all the help we can get,” said Neeson.

One Red Deer mom knows about the impact blood and plasma donors can make. Leslie Bangamba’s daughter Amélie Adolphe nearly died after swallowing a lithium button battery in the spring of 2020 when she was 18 months old.

The battery caused extensive internal damage and she needed countless blood products to survive. Thankfully, the blood she needed was available.

“The doctors could have done everything right, but without blood donors, Amélie would have died,” Bangamba said in a Canadian Blood Services press release.

“Instead, this happy little girl is back to dancing in the kitchen.”

Anyone interested in donating, is asked to download the GiveBlood app, visit blood.ca or call 1-888-236-6283 to join Canada’s Lifeline to book an appointment.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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Sean McIntosh

About the Author: Sean McIntosh

Sean joined the Red Deer Advocate team in the summer of 2017. Originally from Ontario, he worked in a small town of 2,000 in Saskatchewan for seven months before coming to Central Alberta.
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