A Winnipeg doctor says if we don't start seeing an increase in blood donations in our province, lives will be at stake.

After several calls for donations and many answering that call, the distribution of blood continues to outpace the number of donations being made across Manitoba. 

“Canadian Blood Services sends Manitoba hospitals more than 700 units of blood per week to treat patients, so it’s incredibly important that people donate blood—or other blood components, like plasma and platelets—to prevent patient care from being impacted,” says Dr. Eric Jacobsohn, Professor of Anesthesiology, Pain and Perioperative Medicine at Max Rady College of Medicine; and attending intensive care physician and cardiac anesthesiologist, cardiac sciences program at St. Boniface Hospital. “When a patient needs blood, there is no substitute. Without it, lives are at stake.”  

We often see blood donations used in emergency and trauma care situations, but Canadian Blood Services says blood is also an important part of everyday medical care, including major surgeries, cancer treatment and managing diseases and disorders.

“As quickly as we collect blood, hospitals are calling for more. There are simply not enough people donating in Manitoba to ensure patients’ needs will continue to be met long term,” says Mike Choi, associate director of donor relations at Canadian Blood Services. 

Canadian Blood Services says to keep up with the needs in Manitoba and across the country, more than 2,500 people need to donate blood between now and November 1. 

“Life can change in seconds, and you or someone you love may need blood urgently. It’s up to all of us to ensure we can save lives here at home,” says Choi.  

Blood donations can be made at the Winnipeg donor centre at 777 William Avenue or the various mobile donation events across southern Manitoba.

Those unable to donate can still help save lives in other ways by visiting blood.ca.