Central Albertans urged to donate blood ahead of the long weekend

Fewer blood donations this summer have left the Canadian Blood Services supply drier than usual.

Fewer blood donations this summer have left the Canadian Blood Services supply drier than usual.

The non-profit agency is urging Central Albertans to roll up their sleeves and make giving blood part of their long weekend plans.

The busy summer months are typically a tough time to maintain blood donations, but this year is even worse than usual, said Judy Jones, associate director of donor relations in the Alberta region.

All blood types are needed.

“We’ve recorded fewer blood donations again this summer and we’re urging people to join the community of selfless Canadians who give life by donation blood,” said Jones.

“Our immediate need is for 32,000 units by Labour Day.”

Blood clinics will be held on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Canadian Blood Services centre, Unit 5, 5020-68th St. in Red Deer.

Jones believes this year’s shortage is more acute because enough new donors haven’t stepped up to replace people who have stepped back from donating for various reasons. She’s calling on more Canadians to become new and regular blood donors to help meet Canada’s current and future needs. About 100,000 new blood donors will be needed this year to replace the aging donor base and maintain the national blood supply.

For more information about how you can give the gift of life, please visit blood.ca. or download the GiveBlood app.

Donors can also sign up to receive a text message to remind them of their upcoming appointment. Walk-in appointments are also available at all clinics.

Canadian Blood Services is a charitable organization regulated by the government to collect blood, including plasma, platelets and stem cells, for transfusions and to operate an inter-provincial system for organ donation and transplantation.