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Blood bank to Haligonians: Lend us your arms

There is always a strong need for blood donations during the holiday season, but the Canadian Blood Services is warning that this year’s calendar is working against them even more.

There is always a strong need for blood donations during the holiday season, but the Canadian Blood Services is warning that this year’s calendar is working against them even more.

Christmas Day and New Year’s Day both fall on a weekend, a time when blood is not collected. Paul Doucet, communications specialist for Canadian Blood Services, said this is causing a projected shortage because “platelets,” key components of blood that are used in life-saving procedures and in the treatment of cancer patients, only has a five-day shelf-life.

“Our hospital patients need an ongoing fresh supply of platelets. We need donors to come in before those days especially ... to ensure we can meet demand of local hospital patients,” he said.

Doucet said that, as of yesterday, hospitals are lacking about 500 units of blood for the next two weeks, about 60 per cent of the demand.

He said blood donations are critically important for trauma patients, whose demand usually spikes over the holiday season.

The clinic, located at 1940 Gottingen St., is open today, tomorrow and Friday at select hours and will reopen on Dec. 27. You can also call 1-888-2-DONATE to find a mobile clinic in your area.

Doucet is asking people to find the time to make an appointment to donate blood.

“We’re really hoping folks will think about blood donation as a wonderful thing to do over the holidays,” he said. “It really does feel good to do this at this time of the year.”

 
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