Canadian Blood Services is urging people across the country to give, as supplies reach worrisome levels. It’s been four years since a mobile clinic visited Grande Prairie, but Director of Donor Relations Susan Matsumoto says there are still ways residents can help.
“It’s helpful to us to use social media to advocate with your friends and family about the importance of donating blood, but the other is wherever your vacation travels take you, we do have many permanent clinics and mobile clinics across the country.”
Travellers are encouraged to check online ahead of time and book an appointment. Matsumoto says stock levels has been declining over the summer as people find themselves busier, but she stresses that demand stays the same year round.
“We’re concerned. Our inventory has been dropping; declining over the summer. It’s not as seriously low as the state that we got to by the end of last summer, but we’re trying to be preventative and sort of get that message out that it’s important to try and donate blood throughout the summer.”
There hasn’t been a mobile blood clinic making regular trips to Grande Prairie since 2011. The cancellation wasn’t due to a lack off willing donors; Matsumoto explains it was more about having enough supply from other centres and the high cost of coming to the north.
“At the moment it’s extremely expensive for us to run a clinic in Grande Prairie, but you never know. I know there’s a big willing community there, so certainly I always have it in the back of my mind if we ever need to expand collection.”
Inventory has dropped over the summer with only about 16,000 to 18,000 donors nationally over the past couple of weeks, when they’d ideally be between 20,000 and 30,000. To find the clinic closest to you, visit blood.ca.