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Despite shortage, Grande Prairie residents must still travel to donate blood

The Canadian Blood Service is currently experiencing their most critical supply shortage since 2008.

Unfortunately for Grande Prairie residents wanting to lend a helping hand, or in this case a vein, there won’t be a mobile clinic coming to our city any time soon.

Director of donor and clinic services Susan Matsumoto says the only option right now is to make a trip to the nearest city with a clinic.

“I wish I could say that we could bring a mobile unit to Grande Prairie, and it’s not outside of the realm of possibility in the future, but for now it’s just not fiscally responsible for us to do that.”

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There hasn’t been a mobile blood clinic making regular trips to Grande Prairie since 2011.

Matsumoto says that cancellation wasn’t due to a lack of willing donors, but just because they are generally able to adequately supply the clinic with blood from areas closer to larger centres.

Currently, Canadian Blood Services only has a three day supply of blood on hand, instead of the 5 to 8 day supply they normally like to have.

Matsumoto says those living in more rural ares can also help out by encouraging friends and family in cities that do have clinics to make sure they make an appointment to donate.

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