Photo: Canadian Blood Services



Rob: I understand you have a couple of blood donation clinics coming up in Canmore.

Lisa Castro (Canadian Blood Services): We’re going to be in town twice during the month of July. We’re going to be there on July 15th (from 3 – 8 PM) and we’re back again on July 27th (from 4 – 8 PM) and we are looking for a lot more donors to come out and support the July 15th donor event (at the Coast Hotel).

Rob: Has the need for blood donations increased during COVID-19?

Lisa: Now that we’ve reopened and hospitals are returning back to their normal procedures and surgeries that may have been postponed, we’re seeing a rising need for blood donors for sure. We want to make sure that we’re able to support these patients when they’re going through any type of treatment or surgery.

Rob: What kinds of health precautions are you taking at your clinics?

Lisa: Going into any of our donor events, you’re going to encounter our wellness checkpoint. We’re going to screen you, we’ll test your temperature, and we’re also going to provide you with a mask to wear throughout the process. Then we’ll have you sanitize your hands. As you go in, you’ll notice that every touch point is being cleaned. Then throughout the donor process everyone is continuing to physical distance and everyone is wearing masks. At the end, we normally have you sit down for cookies and juice but we’re actually having you take those with you. We’ll have some chairs set up where we’re going to observe you before you leave us and make sure you’re well. So quite a few different measures have been put into place to make sure that we’re keeping our donors and our staff safe.

Rob: We’re all pretty well aware that COVID-19 can be spread through like airborne droplets. What’s the risk of spreading COVID-19 through blood transfusions? Has there been any research on that?

Lisa: Current evidence and risk modeling suggests that COVID-19 is not transmissible through blood and blood products. Nonetheless, Canadian Blood Services has strict measures in place to ensure continued safety of our products and our services related to blood plasma, stem cells, organs and tissues. We are addressing the health of our donors and we urge donors to book appointments over the coming weeks and months.

Rob: is there a role that Canadian Blood Services and research into blood is playing in finding a vaccine for COVID-19 right now?

Lisa: We’re actually a part of the convalescent plasma research that’s happening in conjunction with Hema-Quebec. you can find out more about that on our website.

Rob: is also the website to book an appointment. I believe these particular clinics are by appointment only?

Lisa: That is correct. We can’t allow donors to walk in at this time. Again, we’re trying to keep in physical distancing and walk in with don’t allow us to do that. So you do need to book an appointment. You  can also call our 1-888-2-DONATE number. We also have a GiveBlood app that you can download.

Filed under: Canmore