Canadian Blood Services Calls On Donors for Critical Months



    OTTAWA, June 8 /CNW Telbec/ - As National Blood Donor Week begins,
Canadian Blood Services is calling on donors across the country to give the
life-saving gift during the critical summer months and ensure that the
national blood inventory remains at acceptable levels.
    "While we recognize the ongoing contributions of donors across Canada,
the need for blood never stops. This is certainly true during the summer when
people focus on vacation plans and warm weather activities," said Ian Mumford,
Chief Operating Officer of Canadian Blood Services. "Donations made in June,
July and August will help to ensure that we are able to meet hospital demand
for blood and blood products."
    Canadian Blood Services forecasts that it needs to collect 226,000 units
of whole blood, 13,000 units of plasma, and 10,000 units of platelets during
June, July and August to meet hospital demand throughout the country. The
organization also forecasts that it needs 25,000 units of O negative blood
type during the summer to meet hospital demand. (The O negative blood type can
be given to most people).
    Canadian Blood Services is celebrating National Blood Donor Week - which
begins today and culminates with World Blood Donor Day on June 14 - and
issuing a special call for donations of blood, plasma and platelets over the
summer months.
    An increase in hospital demand last summer led to the need for Canadian
Blood Services to call on donors nationwide as the national blood inventory
was depleted by 40 per cent. Canadians responded, and within three weeks
inventory levels were back to optimum levels.
    "We want to prevent any reduction in inventory levels that would again
make it difficult to meet hospital demand, which is why we are reminding
people that it is important to donate blood, plasma and platelets during the
summer," said Mark Donnison, Executive Director of Donor and Clinic Services
at Canadian Blood Services. Mr. Donnison noted that people who donate during
National Blood Donor Week will be eligible to donate again around the civic
holiday and Labour Day long weekends - other historically challenging periods.
    Most donors book an appointment to donate blood. However, it is common
for appointments to be cancelled or for donors to not show up at a scheduled
time as the weather warms up and people travel for vacation. Yet, demand for
blood never stops and Canadian Blood Services has to keep up with hospital
demand throughout the year. The organization is therefore required to book
more appointments than usual during the summer months to counter a drop in
donor attendance.
    Canadian Blood Services theme for National Blood Donor Week is "It Takes
all Types," which serves as a reminder that almost anyone can donate blood;
all types of blood are needed (A, AB, B and O); and three different types of
donations (whole blood, plasma and platelets) can be made.
    To donate your type of blood, call 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283) today
to book an appointment. Canadian Blood Services also invites people to learn
more about the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network. You could be the
OneMatch to save a person's life. Please visit www.onematch.ca for more
information.

    About World Blood Donor Day

    World Blood Donor Day falls within National Blood Donor Week on June 14 -
the birth date of Karl Landsteiner, a pioneer of transfusion medicine. Every
year the World Health Organization selects a country to host international
celebrations. This year's host is Australia with the theme "It Takes all
Types."

    About National Blood Donor Week

    In 2008, a bill was passed by the federal government in Ottawa
recognizing National Blood Donor Week as an opportunity to celebrate and thank
the donors and volunteers of the blood system in Canada who ensure the health
of their fellow citizens. The week also builds awareness of the importance of
blood, plasma, platelet and bone and stem cell donations, and encourages
Canadians to donate or become a volunteer - especially during the challenging
summer months.

    
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                               By The Numbers

    - Canadian Blood Services needs close to 1 million blood donations in
      2009
    - Units of whole blood that need to be collected from June to August:
      226,000
    - Units of plasma that need to be collected from June to August: 13,000
    - Units of platelets that need to be collected from June to August:
      10,000
    - Donors can give blood every 56 days, or six to seven times each year
    - Plasma and platelets can be donated more frequently than blood
    - Approximately one in two Canadians are eligible to give blood
    - Last year, one in 60 Canadians made a blood donation
    - All blood types are needed (A, AB, B and O)
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    About Canadian Blood Services

    Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable
organization that manages the blood supply in all provinces and territories
outside of Quebec and oversees the country's OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow
Network. A dedicated team of about 4,600 staff and 17,000 volunteers enable us
to operate 40 permanent collection sites and more than 20,000 donor clinics
annually. Canadian Blood Services is a non-governmental organization, however
the provincial and territorial ministers of health provide operational
funding, and the federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for
regulating the blood system. For more info, visit www.blood.ca




For further information:

For further information: Media: Joel Baglole, Canadian Blood Services,
(613) 739-2538, joel.baglole@blood.ca

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Canadian Blood Services

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