Make saving a life your greatest gift this holiday season
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 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.”
- 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 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.
Blood donors step up, but more still needed
Demand for blood never takes a holiday
(OTTAWA) – Canadian Blood Services has seen a notable increase in donations since Dec. 18 when it issued an urgent call for eligible donors to fill 35,000 open appointments by Jan. 6. However, more new and returning donors are still needed to help fill 18,000 open appointments.
“We are pleased so many Canadians have stepped up to fill open appointments to give blood and are confident others will join them by year-end or early in the New Year,” says Rick Prinzen, Canadian Blood Services’ Chief Supply Chain Officer.
The holiday season is a slower time for blood donations. Travel, family activities and changes in routines pose challenges to blood collections, especially the last half of December into the New Year.
“It can be tough during the holiday season to take an hour to give life but donors must continue to answer the call for blood, especially during the weeks of Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Every donation is important and we still need donors to book appointments and, even more importantly, to keep them.”
– Rick Prinzen, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Canadian Blood Services
While all blood types help patients, the supply of O-negative blood is in particular demand. Donors with O-negative blood are part of a select group whose donations are compatible with everyone. As the universal blood type, patients in an emergency situation can all receive O-negative blood.
Some blood collection centres will be open on New Year’s Day, as well as during other regular collection hours. New and existing donors are welcome and walk-ins will continue to be accepted.
Canadians who are unable to give blood can give financially, and can encourage others in their networks to give blood on their behalf.
To book an appointment, download the GiveBlood app available for iOS on the App Store or for Android on Google Play, call 1 888 2 DONATE (1 888 236 6283), or visit blood.ca.
Urgent need for blood donors
Across Canada, patients like Andie Morrison are relying on donors
for happy holidays and a lifetime of possibilities
(OTTAWA) – Canadian Blood Services is calling on eligible blood donors to help fill 35,000 appointments by Jan. 6 to ensure that Canadian patients continue to have access to the blood and blood products they need over the holidays.
Blood collection centres will be open on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, as well as during other regular collection hours. New and existing donors are welcome and walk-ins will be accepted.
"The holiday period always presents challenges for us as we work to ensure we have enough blood and blood products to meet patients’ needs," says Rick Prinzen, Canadian Blood Services’ Chief Supply Chain Officer. "We know that Canadians are busy with travel and activities over the holidays, and we hope that they will make time to save a life and give blood. Canadian patients’ lives depend on them."
Platelets pose a particularly difficult challenge. Patients with serious bleeding or those undergoing cancer treatments rely on platelet donations, but with a shelf life of only seven days, the need for platelets is pressing and ongoing.
A brief time spent donating blood can give a patient a lifetime of possibilities. Thanks to the kindness of strangers, Jennifer Morrison continues to celebrate the holidays with her 10-year-old daughter, Andie.
Says Jennifer, "because Andie suffers from a very rare bone marrow failure called Diamond Blackfan Anemia, her body cannot produce red blood cells. Since she was nine weeks old, Andie has received blood transfusions every 3 weeks. She will receive her 150th transfusion on January 9th. Without regular donors, Andie would not be with us today, so thank you for continuing to give every chance you get."
To book an appointment to help patients like Andie, download the GiveBlood app available for iOS on the App Store or for Android on Google Play, call 1 888 2 DONATE (1 888 236 6283), or visit blood.ca. Canadians who are unable to give blood can give financially, and can encourage others in their networks to give blood on their behalf.
Holiday Give campaign calls for donors
Donors needed this holiday season to give blood and hope to patients
(OTTAWA) – Canadian Blood Services recruitment teams hit the streets today in locations across the country to launch Canadian Blood Services’ holiday Give campaign. Volunteers and blood recipients joined staff in select cities to let potential donors know the best gift they can give this holiday season is blood.
Surveys have shown the top reason people do not donate blood is because they have not been asked. Recruitment teams are a way to connect with and encourage people to consider becoming a blood donor.
A total of 100,000 new donors are needed before the end of March 2017 to maintain the national blood supply and meet the needs of Canadian patients who require blood transfusions. So far, since April, 45,000 new donors have come forward while another 55,000 are still needed in the next five months.
There is an even greater need for new donors this season because of new iron eligibility guidelines introduced recently to promote the health and wellness of blood donors. As a result, some donors won’t be able to donate as frequently. Canadian Blood Services has also introduced new technology in blood clinics to make giving life easier for donors.
“There’s a lot to cheer about at Canadian Blood Services this holiday season,” says Mark Donnison, vice president of donor relations. “The move towards a digital environment is resulting in a better overall experience for donors. It also supports Canadian Blood Services’ commitment to innovating. As we work to bring new donors in to compensate for changes in eligibility, the digital experience is a great asset.”
Canadian Blood Services is counting on eligible Canadians to start a new tradition this holiday season and book a first appointment to donate blood by downloading the Give Blood App for Apple or Android or visiting blood.ca.
As part of the Give campaign the organization has developed a shareable video e-card that highlights how the gift of life makes even the simplest moments possible.