Canadian Blood Services downsizing this summer
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May 18, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

Canadian Blood Services downsizing this summer

Three permanent clinics and 34 mobile sites will shut down


Canadian Blood Services is shutting down several permanent and mobile clinics as well as its Bloodmobile program as the demand for blood declines.

There was a four per cent decline in the need for red blood cells last year, according to Michael Betel, Canadian Blood Services director of donor relations for central and southern Ontario.

“There have been improvements in procedures and also in blood conservation. Hospitals are working better with the blood that they have so they don’t need as much of it,” he says, noting it is a worldwide trend.

Nationally, the blood collection goal will be reduced by 40,000 units.

The organization is replacing its permanent clinic in Sarnia with a mobile clinic over the summer and will shut down three permanent clinics in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and B.C. by June 1.

It is also closing 34 mobile clinics across the country and 293 mobile clinic events.

The Bloodmobile program, including two vehicles in Ottawa and South-Central Ontario, will cease operations by the end of September.

Betel says the downsizing has to do with efficiency — targeting larger areas where more blood can be collected and reducing labour and transportation costs.

“Because of the decline, we had to align better with the resources we have.”

But he stressed that donating is still important, especially as people tend to forget about giving blood during the summer months. Those who want to donate can download the GiveBlood app or check to find a nearby clinic. As an alternative to giving blood, Betel says people can promote the program on their social networks or sign up for the stem cell donation program.

Blood is most often used in emergencies, surgeries and in procedures involving leukemia patients, Betel says.

There will be 36 permanent sites open across the country as well as 909 mobile clinics in operation.

Toronto Star

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