Hannah Norris giving blood for the first time during a January CBS blood drive at UVic. (Black Press Media file photo)

O negative blood stock below optimal amounts: Canadian Blood Services

A single leukemia patient requires up to eight donors a week

Rick Stiebel

News Staff

Although we all have it in one type or another, you never know when you’re going to need someone else’s.

That time could be now for you, someone you know or someone you may never meet because there is currently an urgent need for O negative blood, said Patricia Willms, spokesperson for Canadian Blood Services.

“It’s the only type that can be used in critical situations where there’s no time to identify the patient’s blood type. Any hospital patient in that situation can receive O negative blood. It’s the only blood type that’s universal. That’s why we often hear about the need for O negative blood.”

Canadian Blood Services sets the optimum amount required on hand at five to eight days, but there is currently less than four days worth available, Willms said. Many people don’t realize that it takes up to eight donors a week for a single leukemia patient, up to 50 donors for someone involved in a car crash, and up to five donors to save someone undergoing heart surgery, Willms explained. Given its short shelf life, the need for blood is constant, she added.

READ ALSO: B.C. to prevent for-profit blood, plasma collection

The good news is that making an appointment to donate has never been easier, Willms noted. Those interested in can download the Give Blood app, call 1-888-2Donate (I-888-236-6238) or visit blood.ca.

You don’t have to know what your blood type is to be a donor. Donors receive a card, much like a driver’s licence, once lab work is completed.

The four blood types, A, B, O and AB, all have a positive and negative designation, with AB negative being the rarest type among Canadians.

Canadian Blood Services celebrated its 20th anniversary on Sept. 28, 2018. The non-profit organization is committed to safeguarding Canada’s national system for blood, plasma, stem cells, organs and tissues by connecting donors, volunteers, health professionals, researchers and patients in a national network to save lives.

“One of the most direct ways you can help someone is by giving blood. Every minute of every day someone in Canada needs blood,” Willms said.

For more information, visit blood.ca.

People who don’t want to donate blood but wish to identify their blood type should consult their doctor.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

One woman’s scrapbook uncovered at Fort Rodd Hill tells story of thousands during Second World War

Joyce Margaret Whitney served in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps from 1942 to 1946

War bride’s oversea voyage to Canada took a leap of faith

More than 45,000 women immigrated to Canada after the Second World War

PHOTOS: Hundreds gather at Langford’s Veterans Memorial Park for Remembrance Day

More than 65 wreaths laid, including homemade wreath from Afghan veteran

Colwood house helps homeless veterans get back on their feet

Cockrell House has helped more than 100 people since it was established in 2009

Thousands line the streets around the Legislature for Remembrance Day ceremony in Victoria

Over 70 wreaths placed around Cenotaph, honouring those who lost their lives, currently fighting

VIDEO: Pups in the pool: West Shore rec centre’s Dog Swim a success

West Shore Parks and Recreation goes to the dogs Sunday night

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Mexican culinary celebration fills Victoria Public Market

Taco, Tequila and Margarita Fiesta takes over the Victoria Public Market the evening of Nov. 16

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Most Read