Blood inventory in critical condition

Canadian Blood Services launches urgent appeal for blood donors

OTTAWA, Sept. 30, 2014 /CNW/ - Canadian Blood Services is appealing to all eligible donors to make a blood donation immediately to increase Canada's critically low blood inventory. All blood donors are needed, in particular those with type O and A blood.

"Without the help of Canadians we may have difficulty meeting the expected hospital demand across the country. For patients, this may mean deferring elective or routine treatments," says Mark Donnison, Canadian Blood Services vice-president of donor relations. "We are committed to doing everything that we can to bring new blood donors into the system and encourage current donors to regularly donate to ensure we don't find ourselves in the same situation in the future."

In recent months extremely low attendance at blood donor clinics across Canada in combination with the constant need for blood has caused the national inventory to be used faster than it can be replenished. This has created the lowest national blood inventory since 2008.

"While we are extremely concerned that the reduced availability of blood may result in delays in treatment for certain patients, we are confident in the work Canadian Blood Services is doing, in collaborating with healthcare authorities to ensure patient safety," says Lorna Warwick, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada senior national director. "We are calling on Canadians to donate blood today to ensure our system can help patients tomorrow."

Canadian Blood Services is working closely with its partners within provincial and territorial health systems to ensure the safe, optimal and equitable supply of blood and blood products.

Quick Facts:

  • Approximately 52 per cent of Canadians say they, or a family member, have needed blood or blood products for surgery or for medical treatment. Every minute of every day someone in Canada needs blood.
  • To meet anticipated hospital demand, Canadian Blood Services regularly collects 17,000 units of blood per week. On top of that regular requirement, we now need an immediate 7,500 blood donations, to replenish our lower than required inventory.
  • Soon Canadian Blood Services will have less than three days' worth of inventory of our major blood groups on hand. The ideal level of inventory for blood products is between five and eight days.

To book an appointment today, download the GiveBlood app, visit blood.ca or call 1 888 2 DONATE (1 888 236 6283).

About Canadian Blood Services
Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the supply of blood and blood products in all provinces and territories outside of Quebec. Canadian Blood Services also oversees the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, is establishing Canada's (excluding Quebec) national public cord blood bank and supports leading practices development, professional education and public awareness for organ and tissue donation and transplantation. In addition, Canadian Blood Services purchases manufactured plasma protein products, contributes to transfusion medicine research and provides diagnostic services in some provinces. It operates 41 permanent collection sites and more than 21,000 donor clinics annually. The provincial and territorial Ministries of Health provide operational funding to Canadian Blood Services. The federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for regulating the blood system.

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SOURCE: Canadian Blood Services

For further information: media@blood.ca, 1 877 709 7773

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