Urgent need for blood donors on P.E.I., Canadian Blood Services says

Canadian Blood Services sent an urgent message across the country on Tuesday that it needs 35,000 donors between now and March 10.

Just 52% of appointments in Charlottetown are booked in the next 3 weeks

Canadian Blood Services says there is no impact to patient care at this time, but without donations, the inventory could drop to a level where that is a concern. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Canadian Blood Services sent an urgent message across the country on Tuesday that it needs 35,000 donors between now and March 10.

At the organization's Charlottetown office, there are 313 available appointments in the next three weeks. That means only 52 per cent of the capacity for the clinic is booked in that time.

The winter is usually a tough time for donations, but that isn't the only problem, according to Peter MacDonald, director of donor relations for Canadian Blood Services in Atlantic Canada.

"I think we're working to engage the next generation of blood donors," he said. "We're seeing a transition from one generation to the next, it's getting people to make blood donation a regular part of their routine, not just responding when there's an urgent need. And we're hopeful of a great response this time."

MacDonald said males can donate blood every 56 days and females every 84 days. He also said there is no impact to patient care at this time, but without donations, the inventory could drop to a level where that is a concern.

Visit blood.ca or call 1-888-2-DONATE (236-6283) to book an appointment.

With files from Malcolm Campbell