04/21/2015 08:38 EDT | Updated 07/12/2015 04:59 EDT

Harsh winter in the Maritimes affected blood donations, cancelled clinics blamed

PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. - Canadian Blood Services says this winter was taxing on the blood supply in the Maritimes.

The agency's director of donor relations says 60 blood donor clinics in the region were cancelled over the winter, the most in its history.

Peter MacDonald says the agency has a blood reserve so patients have not been affected, but it needs to restock supplies.

The service has imported blood from the national reserve, but MacDonald says that doesn't address the shortfall of 2,300 units it expected to collect during the winter.

He says it is the first time the agency has had to use the national inventory in the Maritimes. (CIGO)