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Blood donations down because of the flu

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Fewer people have been donating blood this month and that could have to do with the flu that’s been going around.

Sick people are cancelling appointments.

Marcello Dominguez with Canadian Blood Services says you can’t donate when you are under the weather. “You’ve got to be healthy to donate blood, so when you go into screening one of the first questions is “how are you feeling?””

Dominguez says there is a big need for O negative blood. “Thankfully we’ve got very loyal donors and some people have also taken precautions by getting a flu shot. So we have been quite fortunate.”

That’s not the case in Washington State though, blood levels there are very low with the flu circulation still high.

Dr Danuta Skowronski with the BC Centre for Disease Control says visits to doctors and emergency rooms are coming down here.

“In particular, the medical service plan visits showing an ever so slight suggestion that we are turning a corner on the peak.”

But she says it will take a week or so to be able to confirm that.

“We seem to be just at the peak of the epidemic curve, with some hopeful signs of a downturn.”

She adds there is still time to get vaccinated.