The approach of the long weekend means more people in their vehicles, taking to the bike trails and heading to the cottage. And while that could mean an increased number of collisions and accidents, the number of blood donors goes down every summer, said a local spokeswoman for Canadian Blood Services.
Last summer saw a 40 per cent drop in donations, said Jennifer Ciavaglia.
“It happens every long weekend and at Christmastime, when people travel,” she said. “It’s a challenge every year. What happens is we get into the summer season, and regular donors may not make appointments because its vacation time,” she said.
While there may be the “possibility of more trauma victims,” with more people out and about, Ciavaglia said “patients in hospitals need blood for a whole host of reasons — for surgeries, chronic blood illness and for the treatment of cancers.
“The need for blood remains, yet it’s harder to bring donors through the door in the summer.”
From June to August, Canadian Blood Services need 226,241 units Canadawide, said Ciavaglia. In 2009, the goal is a million units. In the Ottawa-Kingston region, the target for the year is 70,900 units.
This year in the Ottawa region, Canadian Blood Services is making it easier for people to donate — the city’s blood clinic on Carling Avenue is open on the Civic Holiday Monday.