Kitchener-Waterloo

Elective surgeries proceed locally despite blood shortage

Low blood inventory across Canada has not yet affected or delayed elective surgeries in Waterloo region and Guelph. Earlier this month Canadian Blood Services warned that the dwindling blood supply could result in hospitals cutting back to preserve their local stores.
In an email to CBC KW, Canadian Blood Services said the need for blood is currently "critical... especially in the Kitchener-Waterloo area." (CBC file photo)

Low blood inventory across Canada has not yet affected or delayed elective surgeries in Waterloo region and Guelph. 

Earlier this month Canadian Blood Services warned that the dwindling blood supply could result in hospitals cutting back to preserve their local stores. 

"With a low blood inventory, what may happen is that hospitals may be asked to reduce the amount of blood that they use, which may delay elective surgeries," Hailu Mulatu of Canadian Blood Services told CBC News. 

Grand River Hospital, St. Mary's General Hospital, Guelph General Hospital and Cambridge Memorial Hospital all confirmed to CBC Kitchener-Waterloo that no cancellations or shortages have been noted.

On Friday, Canadian Blood Services contacted CBC K-W to confirm that so far, in Canada, "there have been absolutely no impacts to patients or hospitals."

GRH wins hospital blood drive

Nevertheless, Canadian Blood Services has said that the need for blood is currently "critical... especially in the Kitchener-Waterloo area," according to a spokesman in an email to CBC News, and people are being encouraged to donate if they are able. 

In May, Grand River Hospital won a blood donor challenge among Ontario hospitals, as a staff donations added up to 133 units of blood during that month. 

According to hospital spokesman Mark Karjaluoto, patients at Grand River Hospital require about 9,000 units of blood each year. 

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