Canadian Blood Services concerned by COVID-19 prompted cancellations

Blood donated during a blood donation clinic in Chatham-Kent (Photo by Jake Kislinsky)

A spike of recent blood donation cancellations has the Canadian Blood Services urging donors to keep their appointments despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Inventory is currently strong, but the recent increase in cancellations is worrying, particularly in light of the blood shortages already being reported in other countries affected by COVID-19,” the national organization said in a news release.

Canadian Blood Services said it is concerned by the cancellations that have been reported in several cities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the organization said donating blood continues to be safe for Canadians because of the cleaning and infection-control practices employed by staff and volunteers.

“All prospective donors are also carefully screened for any symptoms of illness, including very mild ones. This screening occurs during both appointment booking and upon arrival at the donor centre or event. Those with any symptoms are not allowed to donate blood and are instructed not to visit,” the organization said.

Canadian Blood Services said it is urging all health eligible donors to book and keep their appointments.

Ontario’s chief medical officer recommended on Monday that people avoid gathering in groups of 50 or more, in an effort to help contain the spread of COVID-19.