Canadian Blood Services continues to have an immediate need for blood donors this holiday season to help ensure blood and blood products are available for patients in need.

There are thousands of open blood donation appointments to fill across Canada between now and January 4, 2022.

Because of statutory holidays during the month of December, several days of collection opportunities were lost. The need for platelets is pressing and ongoing to treat patients with serious blood disorders or those undergoing cancer treatments. Platelets are a vital blood component with a shelf-life of only seven days. New blood donations are needed to ensure platelets are available.

“The holiday period is a challenging time to collect blood. Every donation counts and new and returning donors are especially needed right now to book and keep blood donation appointments heading into the New Year,” says Rick Prinzen, Canadian Blood Services chief supply chain officer and vice-president of donor relations. “We have seen the dedication of donors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we need that to continue. Patients’ lives depend on them.”

With rising concerns of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, many people are considering a change in their holiday plans, but the ongoing need for blood for patients remains the same. Donors are asked to book and keep their appointments. Appointments are necessary as part of the COVID-19 protocol.

“There is a lot of uncertainty during a pandemic, but there are always patients in need of blood and blood products,” says Prinzen.  While all blood types help patients, O-negative blood is especially needed by hospitals because it is the only type compatible with all other blood types. When seconds count, someone’s life is on the line, and there’s no time to check blood type, hospital patients in an emergency can all receive O-negative blood.

If you are thinking of ways to help during these challenging times, donating blood or plasma is a positive way to support your community while staying safe. To book or change a blood donation appointment today visit

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