Ottawa, Dec. 17, 2018 - Canadian Blood Services has called for
more than 30,000 blood donors across the country to book and keep their appointments
from Dec. 17 to Jan. 6, 2019 to ensure blood and blood products are available to
help patients this holiday season.
Canadian Blood Services is predicting the risk of a low supply of platelets – a
vital blood component with a seven-day shelf life. This is a result of the timing
of Christmas and New Year's which will result in fewer collection opportunities.
Platelets help make blood clot and are used in the treatment of many serious conditions.
One of the most common uses for platelets is to treat cancer patients.
"Statutory holidays in December will impact our platelet supply, but blood donors
can help ensure they are available by booking and keeping their appointments by
Jan. 6," says Rick Prinzen, Canadian Blood Services' chief supply chain officer.
Canadian Blood Services uses two methods to obtain platelets. Pooled platelets are
produced by separating platelets from whole blood after donation. Platelets can
also be separated from whole blood during donation using a process called apheresis.
"The holiday period is typically a challenging time to collect blood, with many
regular donors away or busy with seasonal commitments. But the need for blood does
not take a holiday, which is why donations at this time of year are so vitally important
for patients," says Prinzen, "We strongly encourage eligible donors to give blood.
Your support will ensure we continue to help every patient, match every need and
serve every Canadian."
Patients come from all walks of life and every part of Canada. In September 2016,
18-month-old Aubrey Hirsch from Vancouver, B.C. was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid
Leukemia. She received extensive chemotherapy treatment followed by a stem cell
transplant in February 2017.
"During treatment, Aubrey received more than 50 units of blood products that helped
save her life," says her father Allan Hirsch. "She's still recovering, but thanks
to people who donated out of the goodness of their heart, Aubrey is now a thriving
three-year-old girl with an electric personality who is living life to the fullest.
The support of donors has truly made a difference in our lives."
Blood donations over the holiday season are also needed for chemotherapy treatments,
as well as trauma victims, cardiac surgeries, and organ transplants – procedures
that all routinely take place between Christmas and New Year's Day.
To book a blood donation appointment today, locate a donor centre, check your eligibility
to donate blood and more, download the GiveBlood app available for iOS on the App
Store or for Android on Google Play or visit blood.ca.
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.