Long weekend means blood donors needed

Canadian Blood Services encourages Central Albertans to give thanks by giving blood

Canadian Blood Services wants people to give thanks as the Thanksgiving long weekend approaches by giving blood.

Red Deer blood donor clinic, at 5-5020 68th St., will be open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on Tuesday from 3 to 7 p.m.

“We have a number of open appointments. It’s a great thing to do around Thanksgiving. Do it as a family, and then go have your turkey dinner,” said Judy Jones, blood services associate director for the prairies and N.W.T.

“A lot of people will come in because their family is in town. It’s really neat.”

Donations often drop off around long weekends when regular donors may be away or busy.

Jones said donating blood ensures patients in hospital will also have a great Thanksgiving with their family and that blood is available for anyone needing it due to collisions during the high-traffic weekend.

People of all blood types are encouraged to donate, but this Thanksgiving there is a particular need for donors with the universal blood type O and blood type A.

She said the demand for certain blood types as part of the national inventory changes throughout the year and efforts are made to keep a surplus of blood on hand.

“We’ve just seen an increase demand in A recently. If you have the blood type A please come in to donate to replenish the stock,” Jones said on Friday.

Canadian Blood Services manages the national supply of blood, blood products and stem cells, and related services for all the provinces and territories, excluding Quebec.

She said there is also in need of more new donors. About 200 new donors are needed each month in Central Alberta. A lot of people think donors need to be 18 years old but donors just need to be 17, in good health and feeling well.

To book an appointment, download the GiveBlood app or visit blood.ca. Donors can sign up to receive a text message to remind them of their upcoming appointment.

She said walk-in appointments are available, but appointments are preferred to get donors in and out quickly.