Nova Scotia

Routine blood collection resumes in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotians can once again book appointments for routine blood collection.

Non-urgent blood work was cancelled during the third wave

About 20 per cent of all blood work appointments were cancelled during the third wave to allow Nova Scotia Health staff to be redeployed to the lab to help with COVID-19 tests. (Associated Press)

Nova Scotians can once again book appointments for routine blood collection.

Non-urgent appointments were cancelled through the third wave of the pandemic to reassign staff to the laboratory and process thousands of COVID-19 tests.

"I just want to thank the public for really listening to our request," said Trudy Handy, who is in charge of blood collection in the central zone for Nova Scotia Health. "It allowed us that opportunity to support the microbiology lab."

Handy said about 20 per cent of appointments had to be cancelled during the last wave, but as of this week, they can return to full capacity.

"We're back up to — our average is probably 10,000 a week."

Dartmouth drive thru still tied up with COVID-19

She said the last hurdle will be to resume blood collection at the drive thru site in Dartmouth, which is currently being used to offer vaccinations.

Handy said at this point, they have no sense of when the blood collection option will resume in that location.

Handy said they also don't know how many people have been waiting for routine bloodwork to resume.

"Anyone signing on now should be able to find an appointment easily," she said.

If someone needs an appointment on specific dates but cannot get it, Handy said to call the booking line for help.

"Normally a patient would go back to their physician because a physician has a way to book an urgent, same-day appointment if that's required, but sometimes we work directly with the patients. It depends on the circumstances."

Handy said now that they are back to capacity, Nova Scotia Health will continue to depend on the booking system instead of the old, first come, first serve ways of getting blood work.

She said now that the initial issues have been worked out, the system has proved to be a big success and will be in place permanently.