National Organ and Tissue Donor Week - Héma-Québec will raise blood donor
awareness about the importance of donating organs and tissues

MONTREAL, April 18 /CNW Telbec/ - For National Organ and Tissue Donor Week 2010, Héma-Québec is taking another step forward in its efforts to raise blood donor and volunteer awareness. From April 18 to April 25, the organization will encourage people at all the blood donor clinics organized throughout the province to indicate their intention to donate organs and tissues.

Donors who attend the blood donor clinics during this week will have an opportunity to obtain and sign the human organ and tissue donation sticker provided in the "Please sign for life" brochure. They will be able to stick it on the back of their health insurance card, if they have not already done so.

With this initiative, which is a first, Héma-Québec wants to remind people about the importance of signing the consent sticker when their health insurance card is renewed. This awareness raising week is also an ideal opportunity to let your loved ones know you want to allow life to continue at the time of your death.

Giving human tissues: giving a legacy of life

Human tissues intended for transplants can improve the quality of life of thousands of children and adults. Donating tissue is an act of immense generosity on the part of the donor and takes great courage on the part of their family.

In addition to its role as a supplier of blood products for Québec, Héma-Québec acts as supplier of human tissues intended for transplant, including skin grafts, heart valves and musculo-skeletal tissues such as tendons and bones, and makes them available to Québec hospitals. Under a partnership agreement with the Banque d'Yeux du Québec, Héma-Québec recovers ocular tissue to be used for cornea transplants.

For further information about human tissue donation, visit the Human Tissues section of the Héma-Québec web site at www.hema-quebec.qc.ca.

About Héma-Québec

Héma-Québec aims to efficiently provide adequate quantities of safe, optimal blood components, substitutes, human tissues and cord blood to meet all Quebecers' needs; provide and develop expertise along with specialized and innovative services and products in the fields of transfusion medicine and human tissue transplantation.

Héma-Québec counts 1,300 employees, some 2,000 blood drives and more than 300,000 blood donors every year, 16,000 partner volunteers and more than 485,000 blood products annually delivered to hospitals in Quebec to fulfill patients'needs.

Give blood. Give life.

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SOURCE Héma-Québec

For further information: For further information: Laurent Paul Ménard, External Communications Director, (514) 832-0871, laurent-paul.menard@hema-quebec.qc.ca, www.hema-quebec.qc.ca; Source: Valérie Legault, Information Officer

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