Canadian Blood Services says there is an immediate need for donors from all communities to book and keep appointments and help restore and grow the blood and plasma supply for patients this winter season.

Winter storms in many parts of the country have impacted collections and the ability to safely distribute blood products.

There have also been many cancellations due to winter cold and flu season.

"Since the beginning of October, our national [blood] inventory has declined by 35 per cent," said Territory Manager Aaron Barlow. "When we look at our national inventory of blood products, we like to have between five and eight days of inventory on hand and in some cases, such as O-negative blood, we have three days or less."

He had some advice for donors who may need to cancel their appointment.

"Cancellations, or late cancellations have impact on our ability to collect and deliver on our promise to patients. When possible, we ask donors to keep and honour their appointments, but if they need to cancel, to do so with enough time to allow for other donors to book that now open spot."

There is a critical need for platelets and O-negative blood. O-negative blood donors are also especially needed because this blood type can be transfused to any patient.

Blood supplies continue to be disrupted by a sharp decline in the number of regular donors, a drop of 31,000 since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

You can book your appointment online at, on the GiveBlood app, or by calling 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283).