Donors needed

Make saving a life your greatest gift this holiday season

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Call for blood donors to book now to help patients

DEC. 17, 2019 (OTTAWA) – Crystal Nguyen is among thousands of Canadians who have needed blood for lifesaving care during the holidays. That’s why she encourages Canadians to support Canada’s Lifeline and book and honour their appointments to meet patient needs.

Blood donations between Dec. 23 and Jan. 5 are essential to collect platelets, which are a vital blood component many patients living with cancer or a blood disorder may need for treatment. But platelets have a short expiry of seven days. Statutory holidays in December impact our collection hours so every blood donation counts during the holiday season. Meanwhile, patient needs don’t take a holiday.

Crystal required more than 70 blood transfusions after she was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011. Thanks to donors, today she is an aspiring nurse and a strong advocate for blood donation.

Crystal required more than 100 blood transfusions after she was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011.
Thanks to donors, today she is an aspiring nurse and a strong advocate for blood donation.

A Vancouver resident, Crystal was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011. She required more than 100 blood transfusions and months of chemotherapy during her treatment at BC Children’s Hospital but is now an aspiring nurse and a strong advocate for blood donation.

“My care didn’t stop during the holiday season. Blood donors made a big difference in my recovery. I’m grateful for every donor who helped me and ask every eligible donor to make that wonderful, lifesaving gift this holiday season,” explains Crystal.

Many Canadians use the holidays for travel and festivities, but lifesaving health procedures will continue to take place. The demand for blood never stops.

“Many Canadians have shared Crystal’s experience and appreciate how a blood donation can be the lifeline for a patient injured in a motor vehicle crash, a mother requiring lifesaving care following childbirth, or someone depending on blood products for specialized cancer treatment,” says Rick Prinzen, Canadian Blood Services chief supply chain officer and vice-president of donor relations.

“Everything we do to help patients in Canada depends on donors. Donors are a vital link in Canada’s Lifeline. In 2020, Canada needs over 100,000 new blood donors to keep up with demand.”

Quick Facts

  • Shipping blood products to hospital partners is an important part of helping patients. With the support of donors, in 2018-2019 Canadian Blood Services issued more than a million blood components to over 700 hospitals across Canada.
  • Canadian Blood Services uses two methods to obtain platelets. Pooled platelets are produced by separating platelets from whole blood after donation. This process accounts for approximately 80 per cent of the platelets we collect. Platelets can also be separated from whole blood during donation using a process called apheresis. This process yields more platelet volume per donation, but specialized equipment is required that can’t be made available as widely as a typical whole blood donation.
  • There are many ways to donate. As a national registered charity, Canadian Blood Services also welcomes financial donations prior to the Dec. 31, 2019 tax deadline. Financial contributions are another option for people who want to support Canada’s Lifeline and want to make their blood or platelet donation go further, or for those who are ineligible to donate blood.

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 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.


Urgent need for blood donors by Canada Day

Monday, June 18, 2018

More than 23,000 donors across Canada needed by July 2

(OTTAWA) – Canadian Blood Services is urging Canadians to help meet patients’ needs this summer by donating blood and by encouraging others to roll up their sleeves as well. With people away or busy with other activities, there tend to be fewer donations, making summer one of the most challenging times for Canada’s blood system.  

More than 23,000 donors are urgently needed by July 2 to ensure patients continue to have access to the blood and blood products they need. 

“The summer is a time for family to relax and enjoy themselves. Yet, the need for blood and blood products is constant. The need for blood does not take a holiday,” says Rick Prinzen, Canadian Blood Services’ chief supply chain officer and vice-president of donor relations

Kiran Benet from Brampton, ON is grateful to blood donors for the critical support they provided to her 15-year-old daughter, Cierra, who required 28 blood transfusions, in addition to a life-altering stem cell transplant.

“At age 10, Cierra was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a rare blood disorder in which the bone marrow fails to make enough viable blood cells,” says Kiran. “Life turned upside down for a couple of years until a genetically matched volunteer stem cell donor was found. Today, Cierra is preparing for her Grade 9 exams and recently celebrated her birthday. None of this would have been possible without the generosity of donors willing to help people like us.”  

Currently, the national blood inventory continues to meet patients’ needs but a boost in donations by Canada Day will ensure demand is met throughout the summer. New donors are urged to get involved.  

Canadians who are unable to give blood can encourage others in their networks to give blood on their behalf. Making an appointment to donate has never been easier. 

To book an appointment today, locate a clinic, check for eligibility and more, Canadians can download the GiveBlood app available on iOS or Android or visit


Update: Critical need for donors continues as Canada’s supply of universal blood type dips beneath two days

Monday, June 19, 2017

(OTTAWA) – Throughout National Blood Donor Week from June 11 to 17, Canadian Blood Services urged Canadians to make an appointment to donate. More than 60,000 blood donors need to book appointments to donate by July 1 to ensure all patients have access to the blood and blood products they need.






A noticeable increase in blood donations across the country last week indicates many Canadians have responded. However, the need for donors remains critical.

All eligible donors are urged to book an appointment now to help replenish supplies.

Less than two days’ supply of O-negative blood

The national inventory slipped below two days’ supply of O-negative blood last week, maintaining the urgency for more donations.

At any given time, between a five and eight day supply of blood and blood products are needed to meet anticipated hospital demand. All blood types are needed but there is a greater need for type O blood.

As the universal blood type, O-negative is always in need. O-negative is the only blood type compatible with all others and is used in the most critical situations, including treatment for newborns, patients with compromised immune systems, and for trauma victims.

By holding a steady national inventory of blood, patients can be assured their needs will be met. Avoiding low inventory levels means Canadian Blood Service and hospitals can maintain appropriate patient care across the country.

Critical need for donors

Canadian patients urgently need donations to return Canada’s low blood supply to an optimal level.

To book an appointment today, locate a clinic, check for eligibility and more, Canadians can download the GiveBlood app available on iOS or Android or visit



Canada’s blood supply needs a boost before summer

Monday, May 15, 2017

Inventory of blood needs an injection of 150,000 donations by July 1


With summer’s unofficial kick-off approaching this May long weekend, Canadian Blood Services is calling on all eligible Canadians to roll up their sleeves for patients.


Canadian Blood Services boosts the blood supply every spring to prepare for the summer, when routines are disrupted as regular donors join the thousands of Canadians who head outdoors or out of town to enjoy the warm weather.


This year, a stormy winter and a wet spring have left inventory levels lower than normal. That means there’s enough blood on the shelves to meet patient needs today, but supplies need to increase before the summer months.


Cancer patients, accident victims, and people with blood disorders rely on blood transfusions every day even during the summer. When there are fewer people around to donate, there needs to be more blood on the shelves to ensure patients get what they need.


Canadians are strongly encouraged to roll up their sleeves to build the blood supply to the level it needs to be.


Mark Donnison, vice president, donor relations, reminds us that “for patients, the demand for blood never takes a holiday. We need 16,000 blood donations every week to stock our shelves and continue to help patients throughout the summer.”


While there’s a greater need for Type O blood, all donors are encouraged to book an appointment today. There are at least 3,000 appointments each and every week left waiting to be filled.


Did you know?


Even though half of the Canadian population is eligible to donate, only four per cent of people do. That small group provides blood for everyone, so as Canada marks its 150th anniversary, one way Canadians can celebrate is to respond in high numbers. Bring a friend or make it an event by donating as a group.


To make a difference and save a life:

  • Book and keep your next appointment.
  • Bring along friends, family members or coworkers to donate with you. Almost all first-time donors do so as a group.
  • Walk into a clinic and donate on the spot. For a list of current clinics, please visit or download the mobile app.


To book an appointment, use the Give Blood App for Apple or Android or visit



Blood donations needed: National inventory has declined this summer

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Donors are needed to boost inventory through the August long weekend

(OTTAWA) – The national blood inventory has steadily declined this summer and needs a boost to continue to meet the needs of patients through the August long weekend and into the coming weeks.  Canadian Blood Services is asking people to give blood before and after the long weekend. 



“Summer is a challenging time for blood collection, when many regular donors are on vacation, - this is great time for new donors to join us and help prevent a further decline in the national inventory,” says Mark Donnison, vice president of donor relations.  “Platelets derived from blood are critical to help stop bleeding and unfortunately expire just five days after a blood donation.”

Jill Nicholson understands the need for blood all too well.  She was driving home from work on her motorcycle in June 2012 when she collided with an SUV pulling a trailer, crushing her leg.  In the first 24 hours, she required surgery and 11 units of blood to replace blood lost as a result of the accident. Link to story


Levels of all Blood Types

Jill is thankful for the blood that helped save her life and encourages all eligible donors to give their most precious gift.

“There are many people who need blood on a daily basis. Just think of all the people who need blood because of accidents and medical conditions. Blood donors are the great people who help save them.  They help keep so many people alive without even knowing them.”

The Canada Safety Council reports that “more fatalities occur on Canadian roads during summer months than any other time of year.” It can take up to 50 donors to help save someone who has been in a motor vehicle accident.

To book an appointment to give blood, use the Give Blood App or visit Those with appointments are encouraged to keep their appointment and, if possible, bring a friend or family member to donate with them.  Walk-ins are also welcome.

Check out the status of our national blood inventory.

Quick Facts

  • Ideally, Canadian Blood Services should have 20,000 - 30,000 units of blood in their inventory.
  • Canadian Blood Services needs to collect a minimum of 16,000 units of blood each week to meet the needs of patients
  • Platelets expire after 5 days
  • Red blood cells expire after  42 days
  • Plasma expires after one year