June 14, 2020 was World Blood Donor Day. Blood donations have decreased because of COVID-19, but the need for blood is still critical.
Canadian Blood Services has repeatedly stressed the continual need for blood, stem cells, plasma, and organ and tissue donors. Dr. Isra Levy, the vice president of medical affairs and innovation at Canadian Blood Services told CTV News, “Our blood products, unfortunately, have very short shelf lives and if we’re not having donors come into our collection centres on a regular and routine basis, we’re always very close to the possibility that we’ll run into shortages.”
It is important to note that it is still safe to donate blood during the pandemic. Canadian Blood Services is pre-screening donors before entering a donation centre; donors are asked about their symptoms and travel history. The workers at the centres practice physical distancing where possible and they continue to take infection control measures at all facilities. Dr. Levy states, “There is no evidence that people if they do have COVID-19, would put other people at risk through blood transfusion,” he said. “Blood transfusions are safe. There’s not been a coronavirus of any time that has been known to cause a transmission of disease.”
While we usually head to a Blood Donation Centre as a group for World Blood Donor Day, this year looked a little different. McLeish Orlando employees participated in a “Virtual Blood Drive” this year. Employees took the time out of their day to head to their nearest Blood Donation Centre to continue to help support the community.
Thank you to those who give blood so that others can live. Donors are essential, it’s in you to give.
Click here to learn more about how Canadian Blood Service is approaching blood donation during the pandemic.