KW Blood Donor Clinics brace for possible supply shortage over long weekend

Canadian Blood Services is asking new donors to step in as they prepare for a potential increase in trauma situations over the long weekend.

The organization’s KW chapter has opened a special donation event that takes place on Civic Holiday Saturday and Monday.

They hope to see at least 65 donors come through the weekend, but have already seen many regular donors pass by on Saturday.

“I did this [every eight weeks] since 2002,” said donor Steven Thai. “The constant need for blood is always constant.

“If you can give blood, do it. Nothing should stop you.”

For others who visit the clinic at Bridgeport Plaza in Waterloo, like Andres, Gabriel and Angel Quintana, giving back is a family tradition.

“My parents first did it when we were little,” Gabriel said. “We did it once in a while whenever they could. Then I grew up, my brother grew up, and we wanted to do it too.”

Local hospitals are currently preparing for what could be a weekend full of unexpected emergency room visits.

“People are excited because they can finally go out and do things,” said Gina Leyva, Community Development Manager for Canadian Blood Services. “We are really worried about what this long weekend will bring us.

“We’ve had some truly amazing dedicated donors who have carried us through the pandemic, but at this point, that’s just not enough to get things done.”

The organization hopes to recruit 100,000 new donors in 2022 to offset a drop during the pandemic.

“Things have calmed down considerably,” Thai said. “We shouldn’t be afraid to go out and do things again.”

While the clinic says it is always looking for the donor’s universal O-negative blood type, any type is needed and will be used.

“We really urge anyone 17 or older who is able to donate to consider making an appointment to donate for the first time,” Leyva said.

The Bridgeport Road East location is open and accepting appointments on Civic Holiday Monday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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