News release

First COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Donor


Canadian Blood Services begins collecting plasma donations from people who have recovered from COVID-19 as part of Canada’s CONCOR Trial

APRIL 29, 2020 (VANCOUVER) – Canadian Blood Services is proud to be part of CONCOR, a national clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 convalescent plasma as a possible treatment to help patients infected with the virus. Today, the national blood authority and operator collected its first COVID-19 convalescent plasma donation in Vancouver.

“I’m delighted to be able to help out a really good cause. I have been an active blood donor for 15 years. I’m pleased my unfortunate situation can help somebody else. I think I’m doing a little bit of good out of all this.” says Jerry Glubisz, Canadian Blood Services’ first COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor.

Canadian Blood Services is establishing a national convalescent plasma collection program. The blood operator is now recruiting potential convalescent plasma donors across the country through its new online registry.

“Convalescent plasma may help patients recover from COVID-19, but this has not yet been proven. Well-designed clinical trials, like CONCOR, will help provide the necessary information about whether this is a safe and effective treatment option for patients,” says Dr. Dana Devine, chief scientist with Canadian Blood Services. “We’re making an important contribution to research on a global scale that could help patients in Canada and around the world.”

Over the next few weeks more convalescent plasma donors, like Jerry Glubisz, may donate at one of 11 Canadian Blood Services donor centres that have the capability to collect blood components, like plasma, through a process called apheresis. These donor centres are located in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, London, Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

Initially, all convalescent plasma donations will be supplied to Canadian physicians caring for patients with COVID-19 in the context of the CONCOR trial and under the authorization of Health Canada.

Including both of Canada’s public blood operators (Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec), there are 10 research teams and more than 50 hospitals across the country currently participating in CONCOR. Patient involvement in the clinical trial will be determined by their treating physician at a participating hospital in consultation with the patient and/or the patient’s family. Patients with COVID-19 who are looking for more information on convalescent plasma as a treatment option are encouraged to visit CONCOR1.ca.

While Canadian Blood Services has officially started collecting convalescent plasma, these donations must still undergo all necessary testing and processing before being issued for use by physicians, as per blood safety and quality standards. Transfusions of convalescent plasma are expected to begin within a few weeks when the trial begins.

A convalescent plasma donation is the same as a plasma donation; however, a specific donor is needed for this clinical trial. In addition to meeting Canada’s current plasma donor eligibility criteria, convalescent plasma donors must be younger than 67 years of age, previously confirmed positive for COVID-19 by a laboratory test, and fully recovered from the virus and symptom free for at least 28 days to participate. Donors must also live within driving distance of a donor centre located in one of the aforementioned cities. Anyone who meets these requirements is encouraged to join Canadian Blood Services’ online registry. Additional testing will be done at the time of collection to ensure there are adequate antibodies against the COVID-19 virus in the donor’s plasma to be part of the trial.

Registered convalescent plasma donors who may be eligible are being contacted now and all convalescent plasma donation appointments are being booked as donors are qualified to participate by Canadian Blood Services’ Centre for Innovation which oversees research and development for the organization.

Canadian Blood Services is not accepting walk-in donors for any of its collection programs during the pandemic.

Media assets

As per current physical distancing measures, media are not permitted to visit Canadian Blood Services donor centres. To ensure media have access to assets necessary to provide coverage, raw footage and an uncut interview with Canadian Blood Services’ first convalescent plasma donor will be made available.

Web-based interviews with Mr. Glubisz and with convalescent plasma donors in other areas of Canada may also be arranged through Canadian Blood Services. Please contact media@blood.ca for more information.

About Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services is a not-for-profit charitable organization. Regulated by Health Canada as a biologics manufacturer and primarily funded by the provincial and territorial ministries of health, Canadian Blood Services operates with a national scope, infrastructure and governance that make it unique within Canadian healthcare. In the domain of blood, plasma and stem cells, we provide services for patients on behalf of all provincial and territorial governments except Quebec. The national transplant registry for interprovincial organ sharing and related programs reaches into all provinces and territories, as a biological lifeline for Canadians.

About Canadian Blood Services Research Activities

Canadian Blood Services, through its Centre for Innovation, conducts and supports research projects in key priority areas that span the translational continuum from “bench to bed side.” The focus is on transfusion science and medicine but also related fields such as cellular therapies (in particular hematopoietic stem cell transplantations) and organ and tissue transplantation. Our research findings are published in peer-reviewed journals or directly shared with stakeholders.

Instrumental to our research efforts are discovery and applied research laboratories led by university-affiliated Canadian Blood Services staff scientists, as well as our medical experts and adjunct scientists. Complementing these core research teams, the Centre for Innovation facilitates a national and international research network of blood system experts through competitive research funding opportunities, collaborations and contract research.

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COVID-19 convalescent plasma for patients


APRIL 2, 2020 (OTTAWA) – Canadian Blood Services is actively working with Health Canada and the international research community to contribute to the global effort to determine if COVID-19 convalescent plasma could be an effective treatment for the coronavirus. 

Canadian Blood Services is part of a team of experts representing Canada on an international working group in partnership with Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Singapore, South Korea, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.  

In Canada, the research community has rallied together to design a national clinical trial on the use of convalescent plasma in treating the virus. An application will be submitted to Health Canada shortly. Pending approval, Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec will be responsible for supplying convalescent plasma to hospitals across the country.  

“We have the expertise and the infrastructure necessary to collect and prepare convalescent plasma for use in a clinical trial to test its safety and effectiveness as a treatment option,” said Dr. Dana Devine, chief scientist for Canadian Blood Services. “Plasma will only be collected from volunteer donors who have fully recovered from the virus and will be used by Canadian physicians caring for patients with COVID-19 in the context of the clinical trial.” 

Once the trial is underway, Canadian Blood Services will contact potential convalescent plasma donors based on defined criteria which will be approved as part of the clinical trial protocol. Convalescent plasma donors will also need to meet current Canadian Blood Services’ donor eligibility criteria. Presently, there is a small, but growing, number of people across Canada who could be eligible to participate as convalescent plasma donors in this trial.  

Convalescent plasma is collected through the plasma donation process. When someone contracts a virus, their body develops antibodies against it. The antibodies remain present in their plasma to shield them from possible future infection. In theory, these antibodies could be the key ingredient for a treatment to help others with the same virus.  

For more information, watch this video interview with Dr. Devine.  

A national clinical trial of this size and scope will require several months to complete. In the meantime, Canadians are urged to donate blood in the next few weeks to help maintain an adequate supply of blood and blood products for patients. The need for blood is constant. Patients undergoing surgery and cancer treatment, injury victims and people living with blood disorders rely on blood products every day. To book an appointment visit blood.ca, download the GiveBlood app or call 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283).

Recovered from COVID-19? You may be able to help others. Learn more about CONCOR, a national clinical trial to test if donated convalescent plasma could be a safe and effective treatment option for patients with the virus.

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Suspension of cord blood collections in response to COVID-19 pandemic


March 16, 2020 – Following new recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada, as well as increasing hospital restrictions and resource availability, Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank will temporarily suspend its collections at 11 p.m. this evening (March 16, 2020) for an indefinite period to contribute to the collective efforts in limiting the spread of COVID-19.

We realize this decision may affect many families who had registered to donate their babies’ cord blood at one of our four cord blood collection hospitals across the country.  

For patients who might be concerned, Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Program continues to follow all standards and regulations as per usual, and we are working within the latest recommendations from the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) — an international network of registries and cord blood banks that share a global database where all potential donors and cord blood units are listed. We will continue to help patients get the stem cells they need.

Canadian Blood Services will also continue to work closely with provincial/territorial partners, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada, Héma-Quebec, international blood agencies, and the World Health Organization to monitor the COVID-19 situation. We will resume collections as soon as deemed appropriate.

For the latest information, visit our COVID-19 update.

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Suspension of group swabbing events in response to COVID-19 pandemic


UPDATE: All stem cell swabbing (including at home kits), and blood typing events have now been suspended until further notice


March 13, 2020 – Effective immediately, Canadian Blood Services is suspending all buccal swabbing events across the country and encouraging the public to register online to get their swab kit delivered in the mail.

This suspension aligns with guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada to minimize the amount of time individuals spend in large crowds or in crowded spaces in order to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. It also is consistent with the public health measures being implemented by many of the provinces 

The safety of registrants and their families is of utmost importance to us. We will be re-assessing this decision in 30 days.

For patients and families who might be concerned, both Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry and Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank are members of the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) — an international network of registries and cord blood banks that share a global database where all potential donors and cord blood units are listed. As cases of COVID-19 continue to emerge across the world, WMDA has launched a special COVID-19 webpage that is publicly available and updated regularly when new information is shared by member organizations, professional societies and courier companies. 

Canadian Blood Services will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and provide updates as they are received. Our stem cell registry will continue to coordinate searches in Canada, as well as other international registries to help patients get the stem cells they need. Any critical information is being communicated to the corresponding transplant centre and/or registry to ensure that life-saving products are safely transported to patients in need. Our donors will continue to be screened for active infections and travel history. 

In addition to the cancellation of the swabbing events, Canadian Blood Services is also suspending our popular “What’s Your Type” events across the country. These are events that are frequently held in public spaces like shopping malls inviting people to find out their blood types. We will revisit this cancellation as well in the coming weeks. 

If you require assistance regarding activations currently in progress for any of the international registries in countries where COVID-19 cases have been recorded, please reach out to the transplant services coordinator team at cbs.onematch@blood.ca.

For the latest information, visit our COVID-19 update

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Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation – System Progress Report 2018


March 2, 2020 – Canadian Blood Services is pleased to deliver its latest System Progress Report for Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation (OTDT). The 2018 report was completed in collaboration with Canada’s organ donation organizations, and with the financial support of Health Canada and the provincial and territorial governments.  

In 2018, the generous gifts of 1,317 organ donors and 4,824 tissue donors and their families saved or improved the lives of thousands of Canadian patients. 

This latest data shows Canada’s performance in terms of deceased organ donation and transplantation remains stable, experiencing only a minor decline when compared to the previous year’s results. Inversely, living donation rates nationally have improved slightly.  

In 2018, a total of 223 Canadians died while waiting for a suitable transplant opportunity. For every patient in Canada who receives a lifesaving organ transplant, there are two on a waitlist. As such, there remains much work yet to be done.  

The results reflected in this report represent the individual and collective work of the provincial and territorial partners, organ donation programs, and transplant programs as well as the national efforts led by Canadian Blood Services. 

Quick stats from the 2018 System Progress 

  • The generous gifts of 1,317 organ donors and 4,824 tissue donors and their families saved or improved the lives of thousands of Canadian patients. 
  • 2,829 Canadians received a life changing transplant.  
  • 2018 saw the first decline in deceased donation in eight years, resulting in a 6% drop in the national transplant rate compared to 2017. 
  • In 2018, there were 762 deceased organ donors in Canada. In addition, there were 555 living organ donors. 
  • The Kidney Paired Donation program has facilitated an average of three transplants every two weeks from 2010 to 2018, transplants that wouldn’t have been possible without interprovincial organ sharing. 
  • Canada still has a shortage of organs, with approximately 4,351 patients waiting for transplants at year’s end 2018. 
  • In 2018, 223 Canadians died while waiting for a transplant, down from 242 in 2017. 

“Given Canadian Blood Services’ experience as the national coordinating body for OTDT in Canada and our knowledge of the components required for success, we believe that national priorities in this realm must continue to focus on strategies that will advance interprovincial organ sharing, improve living donation rates, assist jurisdictions as they implement leading practices, and enhance system performance measurements and accountability mechanisms. Patients with the greatest need, and those whose clinical profiles are most difficult to match, benefit when organs are shared across provincial boundaries.” 

  • Dr. Graham D. Sher, CEO, Canadian Blood Services 

“We seem to have hit a new plateau in living donation rates, which means as a country we have to drill down on how to get system performance to the next level. To be on par with countries like the United States, where rates are far ahead of ours, we need to make improving practice in jurisdictions with low rates a key focus. Given the wide variation in practice across Canada today, believe we have a huge opportunity to improve living kidney donation rates.” 

  • Dr. Peter Nickerson, Medical Advisor, System Performance, Data and Transplantation, Canadian Blood Services 

“Organ donation is a gift of life. The donation and transplant system in Canada is deeply grateful to the increasing number of Canadians who have donated organs to save other Canadians. While there has been a slight decrease in donors and transplants over a single year from 2017 to 2018, the system has performed extremely well over the past decade. Over the past 10 years, there has been 57% increase in the number of Canadians who have donated organs after their tragic death. This has led to a 35% increase in the number of life-saving or life-preserving transplants performed and a decrease in the number of patients on the waiting list.” 

  • Dr. Sam Shemie, Medical Advisor, Deceased Donation, Canadian Blood Services 

 

Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation – System Progress Report 2018 (PDF)

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Plasma-derived drug now used for two diseases may have potential to treat others


August 21, 2019 (TORONTO)A treatment now used to fight two diseases might have the potential to help patients with other conditions, too, according to new research funded by Canadian Blood Services.

The new publication, “Treating murine inflammatory diseases with an anti-erythrocyte antibody,” came out today in Science Translational Medicine, a high-impact scientific journal.

Canadian Blood Services supplies hospitals with anti-D, a medication made from human plasma, to treat the autoimmune disease immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) and to prevent hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn. Plasma is the protein-rich liquid in blood that helps other blood components circulate throughout the body. Anti-D is a solution of antibodies against a protein on red blood cells, made from the plasma of donors. At this time, anti-D isn’t recommended as a treatment for any other diseases.

In this new study, Dr. Alan Lazarus, a research scientist and immunologist at the Canadian Blood Services Centre for Innovation, discovered that a red blood cell antibody called Ter119 works in three mouse models of inflammatory arthritis, as well as one model of transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI). TRALI is very rare, but it’s one of the leading causes of transfusion-related deaths, and there is no good treatment for it. These findings suggest that anti-D may be a possible treatment for these diseases in humans.

“The knowledge that anti-D could be used to treat TRALI as well as autoimmune diseases other than ITP is good news for patients,” says Dr. Lazarus. “This may have broad therapeutic potential.”

If it’s demonstrated to work in humans, this approach may also provide an alternative to immune suppression, which is how doctors typically approach autoimmune disorders, but not a good option for everyone.

This work is basic research using mouse models, and an essential step in improving medical understanding and opening doors to new possibilities for better patient care.

Dr. Alan Lazarus is a scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital’s Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science and a professor at the University of Toronto. This work received funding support from Canadian Blood Services, funded by the federal government (Health Canada) and the provincial and territorial ministries of health. The views expressed in the publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the federal government of Canada, or provincial or territorial governments. The work also received funding from Canadian Institutes of Health Research, CSL Limited, and CSL Behring, a biopharmaceutical company that produces human anti-D.

About research at Canadian Blood Services:

Through discovery, development and applied research, Canadian Blood Services drives world-class innovation in blood transfusion, cellular therapy and transplantation — bringing clarity and insight to an increasingly complex healthcare future.

Our dedicated research team and extended network of partners engage in exploratory and applied research to create new knowledge, inform and enhance best practices, contribute to the development of new services and technology, and build capacity through training and collaboration. Find out more about our research impact.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
TEL. 1-877-709-7773
EMAIL media@blood.ca

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Extraordinary story of Dr. Shelly Sarwal to premiere at 2019 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival


August 14, 2019 (HALIFAX) Her Last Project, a film that chronicles a remarkable woman’s end-of-life journey, premieres on Sept. 13 as part of the FIN Atlantic International Film Festival’s documentary program. This extraordinary documentary follows Dr. Shelly Sarwal’s story of taking control of her destiny and leaving a lasting legacy.

Diagnosed with multiple system atrophy, an incurable disease, Dr. Shelly Sarwal chose to end her life through medical assistance in dying (MAID) and to become an organ and tissue donor. As the first person in Nova Scotia to undergo the complicated medical journey of donation after MAID, it was Shelly’s wish to share her experience as a way to educate the public and the medical community.

After saying goodbye to her closest friends over toast and tea, Shelly died peacefully, with her husband at her side. Her organ donation was a gift that impacted many lives.

Her Last Project is directed by Emmy-nominated Rosvita Dransfeld and produced by Canadian Blood Services, in partnership with Legacy of Life at the Nova Scotia Health Authority. 

This powerful film debuts in Shelly’s hometown of Halifax, where she worked and taught, where she lived her life among friends and family, and where she documented her final days for the benefit of others.

The premiere screening of Her Last Project takes place at 6:20 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13 in Theatre 3 of the Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane in Halifax.

Visit herlastproject.ca to learn more.

Quotes

“Our team first met and worked with Shelly as a patient partner. She helped us to develop national guidelines for health professionals involved in organ donation who, due to the passing of MAID legislation, were faced with the reality of having to care for and engage a new group of potential donors. This was unfamiliar territory for organ donation specialists and the public. Shelly and her family bravely and selflessly invited us to chronicle her journey over many months through the MAID process and subsequent organ and tissue donation. Her gift saved lives and serves to educate the broader health system on this important issue. We are honored to have had this opportunity to tell her story.”   

  • Amber Appleby, Executive Producer. Appleby is also the director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation at Canadian Blood Services.  

“It was the first time in my career that I’d collaborated with health agencies in this way. The team at Canadian Blood Services and NSHA remained highly respectful of Shelly’s and my vision for the film. Although already weakened and frail, Shelly remained committed to educate the public about MAID and organ donation. I am honoured to have worked on this project and to have met this woman extraordinaire.”   

  • Rosvita Dransfeld, Director. Dransfeld is an internationally renowned documentary filmmaker who crafts powerful explorations of the human condition connecting the audience to the subjects on screen in a way that is both moving and respectful. Dransfeld has produced two other high-profile documentaries related to organ donation and transplant, Memento Mori and Vital BondsTransplanting Hope, an adaptation of Vital Bonds, has just been nominated for an Emmy.  

“Dr. Shelly Sarwal was an extraordinary woman who I had the privilege to know first as a patient and then as a colleague and friend. At a time when many of us would look for privacy, Shelly opened up her life to strangers so that they might learn more about end of life compassion, medical assistance in dying and the gift of organ donation. She was passionate about educating health professionals and the public on all of these issues. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have worked with her and learned so much from her during this project.”

  • Dr. Jennifer Hancock, Intensivist, QEII Health Sciences Centre, Halifax, N.S.
Learn more
About Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services operates with a national scope and infrastructure that makes it unique within the Canadian health care system. In the domain of organs and tissues Canadian Blood Services manages programs that facilitate interprovincial organ sharing and works in collaboration with provincial programs and partners to improve the organ donation and transplantation system. Initiatives led by Canadian Blood Services include the development of leading practices, professional education, public and professional awareness campaigns, and system performance data collection, analysis and reporting.

  • Every year, thousands of Canadians are added to organ waitlists. There are more than 4,400 people waiting for organ transplants in Canada and an estimated 250 die while waiting for a transplant.

  • A single organ donor can save up to eight lives. Eye and tissue donors can improve the lives of up to 75 patients.

Learn more about organ and tissue donation in Canada at blood.ca/organs-tissues

For more information, email media@blood.ca or call 1-877-709-7773.

About Legacy of Life and Nova Scotia Health Authority

Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) provides health services to Nova Scotians and a wide array of specialized services to Maritimers and Atlantic Canadians. NSHA operates hospitals, health centres and community-based programs across the province. Our team of health professionals includes employees, doctors, researchers, learners and volunteers. Visit nshealth.ca for more.

Legacy of Life is the provincial deceased donation program for Nova Scotia. Established in 2006, the program strives to ensure every Nova Scotian knows about deceased donation and is routinely provided with the opportunity to become a donor as part of optimal end-of-life care. This is achieved through education of the public and healthcare community, adherence to leading care practices and donor family support.

Media contacts

Canadian Blood Services: 1-877-709-7773 / media@blood.ca

Nova Scotia Health Authority: 1-844-483-3344 / NSHAMedia@nshealth.ca

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Securing Canada’s plasma supply


With dedicated collection sites in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia

August 06, 2019 (OTTAWA) – Canadian Blood Services is pleased to announce that with the support of funding governments, plans are now underway to increase plasma collection with three proof-of-concept sites in Sudbury, ON, Lethbridge, AB, and Kelowna, B.C.

These sites will be dedicated to the collection of source plasma, which is the blood component used to make specialized medicines from the proteins in human plasma. The protein products that are derived from source plasma are used in the treatment of patients with a variety of life-threatening conditions. In addition to the three sites in Sudbury, Lethbridge and Kelowna, Canadian Blood Services will continue to collect plasma through the blood collection process at other donor centres across the country.

Usage of one plasma protein product, Immune globulin (Ig), has doubled internationally over the past ten years. Ig is used to treat primary immunodeficiency disorders, a group of rare chronic disorders in which part of the immune system is missing or functioning improperly. Secondary immunodeficiencies, which result from non-genetic factors such as viruses and chemotherapy, are also treated with Ig.

Canadian Blood Services has identified the decrease in plasma sufficiency – the percentage of Ig product delivered to Canadian patients that is produced from plasma collected in Canada by Canadian Blood Services, the national agency mandated by provinces and territories to do so – as a material risk needing mitigation.

“Canadian Blood Services is responsible for ensuring a safe and secure supply of plasma, and for mitigating the risks and impacts of the growing global demand for plasma protein products such as Ig, within Canada’s national healthcare system,” says Dr. Graham Sher, CEO, Canadian Blood Services.

“Opening these stand-alone sites will allow us to increase plasma collection and halt the current downward trend in Canada’s source plasma sufficiency levels. By increasing the domestic plasma supply we can continue to be responsive to the needs of Canadian patients, today and into the future,” adds Dr. Sher.

The Sudbury site will be the first to open, with collection from eligible donors expected to get underway by the Spring 2020, followed by Lethbridge in Fall 2020, and Kelowna in Spring 2021. These locations were chosen based on criteria for optimal conditions to allow collection of voluntary, unpaid donations.

The purpose of the proof-of-concept approach will be to further test and perfect a new collections model that is separate and distinct from the one currently used to collect whole blood. The model adheres to the founding principles of voluntary, unpaid donation in Canada, and builds on Canadian Blood Services’ extensive expertise and decades of experience in whole blood collection, combined with industry best practices and the cumulative knowledge acquired from other blood operators that are meeting their sufficiency targets. The goal is to secure domestic plasma sufficiency in Canada for Canadian patients in the most sustainable, cost-effective and scalable manner possible. 

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Share your reasons campaign boosts National Blood Donor Week, June 10-16


Donors celebrated for supporting Canada’s Lifeline

JUNE 10, 2019 (OTTAWA) – To support National Blood Donor Week, June 10 to 16, Canadian Blood Services is launching a new online tool (blood.ca/reasons) for anyone whose life has been changed by blood products to share their reason(s) for joining Canada’s Lifeline and help patients.

“Each year during National Blood Donor Week and on World Blood Donor Day, June 14, we celebrate and thank donors for their generosity and commitment to patients. Blood donors are a vital link in Canada’s Lifeline and more donors are needed to maintain a strong and consistent supply of blood and blood products. We encourage Canadians to visit our website and to share their personal reasons for donating and inspire their friends and family to join them,” says Rick Prinzen, Canadian Blood Services chief supply chain officer and vice-president of donor relations.

“After seeing my mom and sister not being well, as soon as I turned 17 I knew I would donate,” says Jakob Gallant whose mother Lori and sister Keelyn both suffer from platelet coagulation disorder and require blood transfusions regularly. “It wasn’t even something I had to think about. It’s funny because neither of them really looks sick. And they aren’t right now thankfully, but it will happen again. And they will need help again as will a lot more people that I know. You never know when someone close to you may need it,” says Jakob.

“My wife receiving a blood transfusion was a huge motivator to boost my donations,” says Byron Link, a retired RCMP officer who donated his first pint of blood in Manitoba in 1965 at age 21. In 1996 while stationed in Prince George, B.C., his wife became ill and a blood transfusion saved her life. In 2002, Byron and his wife moved to Kamloops, B.C. where he continued to donate as often as he could. Last year on May 22, 2018, he made his milestone 150th donation and since then has donated four more times.

“Everything we do to help patients in Canada depends on donors who give so selflessly and are very dedicated,” says Prinzen. “Many Canadians have reasons for donating blood and the donations ultimately help patients through difficult health challenges and allow them to wake up healthier, every day.”

Visitors to the new web page can submit their reason(s) for donating blood or plasma, registering as a stem cell or organ and tissue donor, volunteering or giving financially. And, as a continuation of the “Reasons” multi-media campaign the organization launched in April, Canadians are also invited to use social media to post their reason(s) for being a donor, tag their followers and encourage them to do the same using the hash tags #WhatsYourReason, #NBDW2019 and #WBDD.

While we take this week to thank existing donors, Canadian patients also need new donors to join Canada’s Lifeline. This year, over 100,000 new blood donors are needed to maintain the national blood supply and meet the needs of patients who require blood transfusions. Canadians are encouraged to donate blood this summer to meet anticipated hospital demand. Blood donations often decrease during summer months because of holidays, changes in routines, travel and family activities.

Legislated by the Government of Canada in 2008, National Blood Donor Week recognizes and celebrates donors who selflessly help their fellow citizens. Events will be held in communities across the country throughout National Blood Donor Week to thank generous donors for their commitment to patients and to encourage new donors to join Canada’s Lifeline.

Making an appointment to donate has never been easier. Download the GiveBlood app, call 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283) or book now at blood.ca. Walk-in appointments are also available at all locations.

About Canadian Blood Services
Canadian Blood Services is a not-for-profit charitable organization. Regulated by Health Canada as a biologics manufacturer and primarily funded by the provincial and territorial ministries of health, Canadian Blood Services operates with a national scope, infrastructure and governance that make it unique within Canadian healthcare. In the domain of blood, plasma and stem cells, we provide services for patients on behalf of all provincial and territorial governments except Quebec. The national transplant registry for interprovincial organ sharing and related programs reaches into all provinces and territories, as a biological lifeline for Canadians.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
TEL. 1-877-709-7773
EMAIL media@blood.ca

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Canadian Blood Services board meeting open to the public


(TORONTO) On June 20, Canadian Blood Services will open its doors physically and virtually, by live streaming its open board meeting at blood.ca, and inviting the public to attend in person in Toronto.

Twice each year, members of the public are invited to participate in open board meetings. They have the opportunity to hear about the organization’s work, deliver presentations to the board, and meet with members of the board and the management team. 

Since its creation in 1998, Canadian Blood Services has been committed to operating in an open, transparent, and collaborative manner. 
 

WHO

Dr. Graham Sher, CEO, Canadian Blood Services, and members of the Executive Management Team 

Mel Cappe, Chair of the Board of Directors, and members of the Board of Directors 

WHEN

Thursday, June 20, 2019 
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT 

WHERE:  

Metro Toronto Convention Centre 
255 Front Street West 
Toronto, ON 

Live-stream available at  https://blood.ca/en/about-us/governance/board-meetings/next-open-board-meeting 

About Canadian Blood Services 

Canadian Blood Services is a not-for-profit charitable organization. Regulated by Health Canada as a biologics manufacturer and primarily funded by the provincial and territorial ministries of health, Canadian Blood Services operates with a national scope, infrastructure and governance that make it unique within Canadian healthcare. In the domain of blood, plasma and stem cells, we provide services for patients on behalf of all provincial and territorial governments except Quebec. The national transplant registry for interprovincial organ sharing and related programs reaches into all provinces and territories, as a biological lifeline for Canadians. 

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