EDITORIAL: It’s still in us to give

Need for blood donations doesn’t stop, even in trying times like these

Amid all the confusion and conflicting information about how to behave – where to go or not go – in what, for the vast majority of us, is an unprecedented situation, one agency is asking healthy Canadians to leave their homes and gather – albeit in a highly-controlled environment.

Canadian Blood Services issued a plea on Monday for donors to make – and keep – appointments to give blood.

Although Canada’s blood supply is currently at a healthy level, the number of cancellations is worrying, CBS notes, particularly in light of the blood shortages that are already being reported in other countries affected by COVID-19.

Even when donations decline, the need for blood and blood products remains fairly constant.

Hospitals are cancelling elective surgeries, but of course they cannot cancel emergency surgery.

In addition to surgical demands, blood, and its components, are also used for patients with anemia and those who are receiving vital treatment for cancer.

For those who are concerned about the safety of the process during a global pandemic, CBS is assuring residents that its donor centres are “islands of wellness within Canada’s health system.”

Robust cleaning and infection-control practices are in place at all times to protect all donors, staff and volunteers, the release states, adding that CBS does and will continue to adhere to all guidance provided by the federal government.

So what does that mean? For those who’ve been regular donors, keep it up – your contribution means more now than ever.

If you’re not a donor – or haven’t been one in a while – and you feel comfortable out in public, now might be the time to step up and donate. Perhaps you can take the place of an older person who is anxious about leaving the house.

In order to be eligible, you must be at least 17 years old and meet minimum weight requirements for your height. Other factors that affect eligibility can be found on the CBS website.

More information on COVID-19 is available at blood.ca/covid19. To make an appointment to donate, download the GiveBlood app, call 1-888-236-6283 or book now at blood.ca. Walk-in appointments are also available at all locations.

Hopefully, even during a pandemic, it’s still in us to give.

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