Canadian Blood Services (CBS) is asking Albertans to be more proactive donating blood, as distribution to hospitals has lapped supply. Blood and plasma help treat patients who have experienced serious trauma, need emergency care, are undergoing “major surgeries, medical procedures, cancer treatments, and managing diseases and disorders,” said CBS is a press release.CBS called for more donations across the nation over the summer, but did not reach its quotas, “despite many answering the call.”“Distribution of blood to hospitals continues to outpace the number of donations being made across Canada, including here in Alberta,” CBS said in the release. “As quickly as we collect blood, hospitals are calling for more. There are simply not enough people donating in Alberta to ensure patients’ needs will continue to be met long term,” said Jennifer Gretzan, associate director of donor relations. “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.”The organization sends Alberta hospitals “more than 1,700 units of blood per week” to help people in need. “It’s incredibly important that people donate blood — or other blood components, like plasma and platelets — to prevent patient care from being impacted,” said Dr. Ghazala Radwi, Medical Lead at Alberta Precision Laboratories. “When a patient needs blood, there is no substitute. Without it, lives are at stake.” CBS said major Alberta hospitals go through a substantial amount of donated blood each year and out of “nearly three million people in Alberta who are eligible to donate blood,” only “a mere fraction do,” citing 2% of the population. The University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton needs more than 38,000 units of blood per year, Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre needs more than 5,800 units and Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary needs more than 31,000 units. “To keep meeting the needs of patients in Alberta and elsewhere in Canada, more than 7,500 people are needed to donate blood between now and November 11,” CBS said, adding it updated its regulatory requirements for donating, so people who weren’t eligible before may be able to now. “Don’t count yourself out,” CBS said. “Canadian Blood Services regularly updates our eligibility criteria for donating blood. You may be able to donate — even if you couldn’t before.”People can go to blood.ca or call 1-888-2-DONATE to book an appointment.