Harsh winter weather takes toll on blood donations
Published Monday, February 18, 2013 7:00PM AST
The harsh winter weather is beginning to take its toll on groups and agencies around the region that rely on volunteer power, including Canadian Blood Services.
The agency has been forced to cancel or postpone several blood clinics across the region, and now it’s scrambling to make up the shortfall.
“They (the roads) were slippery in places,” says donor George Barefoot, who didn’t have to travel far to a Canadian Blood Services clinic in Saint John.
“The people who are receiving it appreciate it. You don’t get that feedback, but you do feel you’re doing something worthwhile when you’re done here.”
Donor Phillip Linton was pleased to see a clinic open in Saint John today.
“Having to deal with cancellations and weather and various other things, you know, it’s great.”
However, severe weather caused some clinics to close in other areas today.
“We had a clinic that was in Florenceville, scheduled to be there, but due to school closures and things like that, we had to cancel that whole clinic,” says Canadian Blood Services spokeswoman Michelle Thibodeau Coates.
“So, 120 units that we had anticipated collecting today, we weren’t able to collect those.”
The afternoon portion of a clinic in Clare, N.S. was also cancelled due to road conditions.
This is the fifth week this winter the agency has been forced to scale back blood donor clinics.
“At the end of the day we really want to make sure that folks are safe,” says Thibodeau Coates. “So we want them to come into the clinic and donate, but we don’t want people to increase the need for blood by having them risk themselves on the roads.”
Cancellations have left Canadian Blood Services with about 800 appointments to fill at upcoming clinics across the Maritimes.
The agency is hoping to make up the shortfall in a series of clinics planned across the region, assuming the weather cooperates.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Mike Cameron