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Canada is experiencing a severe O+ and O- blood supply deficit.

Canada is experiencing a critical scarcity of O+ and O- blood supplies.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Canadian Blood Services (CBS) only had enough O+ and O- blood types to last three days, and only enough A+, A-, and B- blood types to survive five days, according to its website.
  • Red Cross Blood Services states that donated frozen plasma has a one-year shelf life, donated red blood cells have a 42-day shelf life, and donated platelets have a five-day shelf life.

According to its website, the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) only had enough O+ and O- blood types to last three days and only five days’ worth of A+, A-, and B- blood types.

When the supply of these blood types falls below eight days, the agency states that donations are “particularly needed.”

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, CBS has struggled to replenish a critically low national supply and reported in June, that it had reached its weakest donor base in ten years.

“Collections have been steadily declining since July 1,” CBS stated in a statement sent by email to CTVNews.ca on Friday.

After receiving criticism the previous month for eliminating its necessary face mask policy, the organization declared in July that it needed to fill 57,000 appointment slots for donations by the end of August.

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Some contributors have expressed consideration for postponing or canceling scheduled appointments due to the action.

According to our current appointment bookings, we anticipate falling 3,000 units shy of our collection goal in the upcoming week, CBS wrote in the email. The national stockpile of blood products has decreased by 17%.

According to CBS, a decline in donor availability is to blame for declining donations.

According to CBS, Canadians enjoy pre-pandemic activities and summer vacations, which leaves them less time to donate.

Additionally, unless they have abstained for three months, CBS does not currently accept donations from gay and bisexual males or some other members of the LGBTQ2S+ community.

The national blood donor organization has yet to switch to screening all donors founded on higher-risk sexual behaviors, yet of gender or sexuality, even after Health Canada authorized CBS to do so in April.

The organization claims to launch the new behavior-based questionnaire strategy “no later” than September 30.

The United States is likewise experiencing a persistent blood scarcity challenge. Due to an increase in Omicron cases and “poor donor turnouts,” the American Red Cross reported in January that it is experiencing its worst blood scarcity in more than ten years.

Canada is experiencing a critical scarcity of O+ and O- blood supplies.
Canada is experiencing a critical scarcity of O+ and O- blood supplies. Image from iHeartRadio

Dr. Pampee Young, then-chief medical officer of the Red Cross, stated in a news release that “certain sorts of medical care may wait, but others can’t.”

We are making every effort to increase blood donations to ensure that every patient may receive medical care without delay, but we are unable to do so without more donors.

According to Red Cross Blood Services, frozen plasma has a one-year storage life, red blood cells have a 42-day shelf life, and platelets have a five-day shelf life for donations.

CBS states that 57,000 open appointments must be filled across Canada by August.

CBS requests that anyone interested in donating blood make an appointment on its website.

Remember that there is always a need for blood, plasma, and platelets, CBS advised in the email. Patients with cancer, those who have been in accidents or suffered trauma, those who are having surgery, and those who have blood diseases depend on blood, platelets, and plasma transfusions daily.

Source: CTV News

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