Canadian Blood Services is reminding donors to honour their appointments as no-shows and cancellations continue to impact the service’s ability to hit their collection goals.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Canadian Blood Services had to reduce capacity at their donation events along with implementing various other COVID protocols. The restrictions remain in place, which means all donors must book an appointment to give blood. Elaine St. Pierre, territory manager for Muskoka and the surrounding areas, said they’ve been fortunate to be able to maintain their event schedule throughout the region, but the inability to accept walk-ins has taken away their only option for replacing no-shows.
“We go into these events fully booked and expecting that all these people are going to come, and we do get a lot of last-minute cancellations and no shows,” St. Pierre said. “As a result, sometimes we have trouble hitting our targets.”
For donors that know they won’t be able to make their appointment, it’s important to cancel as soon as possible so that other donors can book in their place. With the limited number of appointments available, St. Pierre urges donors that were unable to book to check online for last-minute slots.
“I would encourage anybody if they weren’t able to get a spot a few weeks out, keep checking back the week of the event and even the day before or the day of,” St. Pierre said. “There may still be openings that are available, and every bed needs to be filled.”
Blood drives are coming up in Huntsville on Oct. 18 and Bracebridge on Oct. 25, and as of now, both events are fully booked. Along with checking back for cancellations, Muskoka residents travelling down to Barrie can take advantage of their additional appointment times.
The Barrie Donor Centre is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. and on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Long weekends always present a higher chance for things like car accidents, St. Pierre said, so this time of year presents an opportunity to give back while also giving thanks.
“Thanksgivings a time to be grateful, and I’ve got to tell you, I am so grateful for every person who books that appointment, who attempts to donate, who does donate and encourages someone else around them to do so because that is what keeps Canada’s lifeline going,” she said. “I just want to extend my thanks on behalf of the patients that we serve to all our Muskoka donors. They’re so dedicated and generous.”
To see available appointments in and around Muskoka, visit blood.ca.