Earlier this month Canadian Blood Services (CBS) urged Canadians to roll up their sleeves as national blood inventory is running low. Blood donations have been steadily decreasing since July 1, 2022, leaving the organization with its smallest donor base in decades.
Seeing the plea for donors but the lack of local donation clinics has left many Kenora blood donors frustrated.
Nicole Minner and her mom, who both have O- blood the universal donor, told Kenora Online she and her mom gave religiously knowing that their blood type could have a huge impact.
"I was disheartened when they announced that they weren't going to be bringing clinics to Kenora," Minner continued.
Canadian Blood Service stopped blood collection in the region several years ago and has no short-term plans to bring the clinics back.
"Decisions around where we hold donation events are assessed on a national basis and based on many factors including the number of units collected, labour and transportation costs, the distance and access to the nearest production site and the need to operate an efficient blood system. Ultimately, logistical challenges mean we must focus on collecting blood in more densely populated areas. Holding a donation event in a more remote location could impact our ability to ship the blood quickly to our manufacturing sites," stated Canadian Blood Services in a prepared statement.
"We understand that the difficult decision to stop blood collection in Kenora was met with disappointment. It is difficult for us knowing there are people in Kenora who may want to donate blood but because of distance to the nearest collection centre are unable to do so," the statement continued.
The closest donation centre is in Winnipeg which can be a barrier for some without the means for travel or time in a jam-packed Winnipeg trip.
"I would donate when they came to Dryden all the time. Now when I go to Winnipeg usually we are there for a specific reason and under a time constraint so I am not able to donate," said Laurie Huffman.
"Used to donate blood whenever they came to town. Have not done so since as it’s not something I even remember to do when in Winnipeg. Miss the opportunity to help out when they used to come," added Amy Procyshyn.
An appointment to donate blood can be made at blood.ca or by calling 1-888-2-DONATE.