Blood donations | “Abnormally high” cancellation rates worry Héma-Québec

Nearly 20% of blood donations are canceled on certain days currently, due to the sixth wave of COVID-19 in Quebec. These are “abnormally high” rates for Héma-Québec, which fears considerable impacts on its reserves.

Posted at 11:51 a.m.

Henri Ouellette-Vezina

Henri Ouellette-Vezina
The Press

“Our cancellation rates vary from day to day, but to give you an idea, as a general rule, our cancellation rate is 5-10%. But there, it really doubled. We currently fluctuate between 10 and 18%. It’s really more marked, and we’ve never seen that since the start of the pandemic, ”says the organization’s public relations director, Laurent Paul Ménard.

He affirms that the organization is in a “worrying” position, insofar as the reserves are exhausted and that the “blood products, that does not keep long”. “It’s really the sinews of war, for us, to keep up the pace during this period”, he maintains, recalling however that the supply of hospital centers with blood products, which remains “normal”, allows so far to “meet all needs”.

Héma-Québec nevertheless calls on Quebecers who can – and who are not struggling with COVID-19 – to mobilize for the cause. Spreading the word to colleagues, friends and family would also be “greatly appreciated” in the context, according to Mr. Ménard.

Only during the week of March 28, Héma-Québec says it has noted a “deficit of 800 donations on objectives of nearly 5,500 donations”, a trend which seems a priori to continue since the beginning of this week.

Despite the sixth wave, “the needs remain the same”, adds the organization. Indeed, “every 80 seconds, a person needs a blood donation in Quebec and it takes 1000 donations a day to meet the needs of hospitals,” he said in a statement released Wednesday.

For the time being, making an appointment remains “the preferred option to ensure good planning for the reception of donors”, especially in the current pandemic context, recalls Héma-Québec, which invites anyone interested in visiting its website or dialing 1 800 343-7264 (SANG) to make an appointment. That said, people passing by a collection site or a donation center “are invited to check the possibility of making a donation on site”. Finally, we ask anyone who cannot come to their appointment not to forget to cancel it.

Finally, Héma-Québec recalls that “numerous measures have been in place since the start of the pandemic to make blood donation a safe experience, by protecting the donors, volunteers and employees who make this gift of life possible.” .

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