June 14 is World Blood Donor Day: 5 reasons to roll up your sleeve this summer
If a quick trip to the blood donor clinic is on your to-do list but something you never get around to, perhaps these five motivating facts will help you face the needle this summer.
“Roughly 50% of all Canadians have needed a blood donation for either themselves or one of their family members,” says Dr. Mindy Goldman, uOttawa Faculty of Medicine adjunct professor with the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and executive medical director at Canadian Blood Services.
If that’s not enough to get you to roll up your sleeve, here are a few other reasons Dr. Goldman encourages everyone to give blood:
- Blood is needed every minute of every day. On average, someone in Canada requires a blood donation every minute of the day (hot tip – there are 1440 minutes in a day). While half of Canadians are eligible to donate blood, only 4% actually do.
- One donation saves multiple lives. After you donate, your blood is tested and then separated into three parts: red cells, platelets and plasma. Each one of these components can be transfused into a different patient, which means that with just one donation you can help save up to three lives.
- Calling all O negatives. Twelve percent of hospital orders are for O negative blood, but only 7% of Canadians have it. In emergency situations, when there is no time to check a patient’s blood type, O negative can be used, which is why it is always in high demand.
- Donate. Recover. Repeat. Blood is perishable. Platelets have a shelf life of only seven days, red cells have a shelf life of 42 days, and plasma can be frozen and saved for up to a year. This emphasizes the continuous need for new and repeat donors.
- The demand is unrelenting. To meet the needs of patients across Canada this year, Canadian Blood Services will need to recruit 100,000 new donors. If you’ve never donated before, consider giving it a go.
A global campaign to raise awareness called #MissingType is currently underway as part of Canada’s National Blood Donor Week (June 11-17). Learn more about the importance of blood donation, how it saves lives and how you can help, by visiting: www.blood.ca.