Demand for blood in the Central Okanagan on the rise - InfoNews

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Demand for blood in the Central Okanagan on the rise

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June 26, 2020 - 4:00 PM

As hospitals begin to return to their normal procedures, blood service clinics in the Central Okanagan are in need of donations.

“We’re seeing hospitals increasing the number of procedures that they’re doing so the demand is increasing,” Canadian Blood Services territory manager Gayle Voyer said.

During the pandemic, donation centres had to change to meet the new requirements from the provincial health authority, and regular donors have continued to come in during the pandemic.

“We didn’t have as many people coming into our donor centres as we normally would, and so we were able to balance the demand at the time with the number of donors coming into our centre,” she said.

READ MORE: Donating blood 'continues to be safe' despite COVID-19

Initially, there was a drop in donation numbers at the start of the pandemic, as the provincial health authorities encouraged residents to stay home, but as the word got out about how the donation centre was still accepting blood throughout the pandemic following new safety guidelines, new donors began to show up.

Across B.C., 2,300 appointments need to be filled.

In Kelowna, 327 appointments are needed for the next month. In West Kelowna, 20 appointments will need to be filled at Lakeview Heights Baptist Church on Monday, June 29 from 12 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. and June 30, from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Donors must book appointments in advance, and can book online here. Donors will also be screened on location with COVID-19 based questions and will be provided with a mask and will be subject to a temperature check.

READ MORE: Canadian Blood Services donations increase in Kelowna

A new pop-up clinic will also be held in Peachland at the Peachland Community Centre on Canada Day, July 1, from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

"There was an opportunity to add more appointments and this was the best one that was available to use in a short period of time… what a better day than Canada Day for people to come out and donate for other Canadians?” Voyer said.

For more information visit the Canadian Blood Services website here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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