Local members of the Sikh community tried to encourage people to donate blood this long weekend during a rally friday morning along 152 Street and 101 Avenue.

Sikh Nation youth urge public to give blood

Canadian Blood Services needs to fill 51,000 appointments between now and Labour Day to meet the need for donations.

Young members of Sikh Nation held a rally outside the Surrey Blood Donor Clinic on Friday, to encourage the public to give blood this holiday long weekend.

Sikh Nation has organized an annual blood drive since November 1999 and has become one of Canadian Blood Services’ lead Partners for Life (PFL) groups.

In response to the recent Blood Signal activation – which is a reminder there is a greater need for blood now – Sikh Nation youth have rallied together to aggressively recruit new blood donors to help meet patient needs this summer.

As a result of nearly 12,000 unfilled appointments so far this summer, coupled with constant hospital demand, Canadian Blood Services is forecasting a need for 51,000 appointments to be filled between now and Labour Day to replenish stocks.

For that reason, Canadian Blood Services has extended the Blood Signal until Sept. 3. The Blood Signal is a call to action for Canadians to rally together and book a blood donation when the need is greatest.

“Canadian Blood Services operates a national system and we are able to draw on our national reserves at times like these, says Ed Yee, director of Donor and Clinic Services for the B.C. and Yukon region of Canadian Blood Services.

“Every summer is a challenge, but this year the trend is especially concerning as there are 51,000 appointments to fill between now and Sept. 3 to keep blood inventory at an acceptable level, including 9,500 appointments in the B.C. and Yukon region.”

The summer months are always challenging for Canada’s blood supply and the country is not alone; donations are soft in other countries as well.  Blood systems in the U.S. and the U.K. have recently issued urgent appeals for blood donors due to fewer donations being made this summer and overall blood inventory levels falling.

“No patient goes without blood,” says Yee. “But with so many open appointments, we need Canadians to book and donate now.”

Surrey area residents are asked to give blood at the permanent blood donor clinic located 15285 101 Ave.

To book an appointment, visit www.blood.ca or call 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283).

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