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PeopleFuture donors

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The importance of giving blood

To become a donor

Does donating blood hurt?

Statistics

Blood information

Blood links

Send us your stories and pictures

More questions? Write to us at feedback@blood.ca.

The Importance of giving blood

  • Did you know that over 2000 units of blood are needed every day in hospitals across Canada? One unit of blood is equal to 450 ml and the average number of units required per patient is 4.6 units. A single blood donation can help to save up to three lives.


  • Becoming a blood donor is one of the greatest acts of kindness. Research shows that Canadians donate blood because they want to help other Canadians in need—friends, neighbours, family or total strangers.


  • People need blood and blood products for many reasons. Blood is used to treat wounds, illnesses like cancer and the lack of enough red blood cells. It is also used in procedures such as organ transplants, bypasses and hip replacements.

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To become a donor

  • You must be at least 17 years old to become a blood donor. Even if you are not old enough to donate now, someone you know is.


  • As a future blood donor, you can tell your parents or other members of your family about the importance of donating blood. Canada is always in need of a steady supply of blood and blood products—from blood donors who can give every 56 days.


  • Today, you may be looking forward to becoming a teenager, starting high school or learning to drive a car. Why not also look forward to becoming a regular blood donor? With each future donation, you can save up to three lives. Think of yourself as a super-hero in training!

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Does donating blood hurt?

  • You probably think that donating blood hurts. Except for a small “pinch” when the needle goes in, giving blood rarely hurts. Most donors find that it hurts less the more often they have donated.

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Statistics

  • Did you know that only about 3.5 per cent of eligible Canadians donate blood?


  • This means that if you put 100 people in a room, only 3.5 will be blood donors. If each of the 3.5 makes a blood donation, Canadian Blood Services will have collected 3.5 units of blood. Since on average, 4.6 units of blood are required to treat a patient, we are short 1.1 units…we need more blood donors!

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Blood information

  • Blood is carried to every part of your body by thousands of blood vessels, arteries, veins and capillaries.


  • In fact, would you believe the human body has so many miles of blood vessels inside of it, they could go around the Earth more than twice? It's true!


  • By the time you're all grown up, you'll have about five litres of blood in your body!


  • Blood is made of many parts. These parts may be transfused separately or together to treat many conditions. Blood is broken down into four main parts:

    • Red Blood Cells carry oxygen to tissues and remove carbon dioxide through the lungs.
    • White Blood Cells protect the body from illness yet they often carry germs. This is why these cells are removed so that the germs they carry are not transfused to patients.
    • Platelets aid in clotting to help control bleeding.
    • Plasma is a liquid containing many of the body's proteins that help fight infection and help clotting. It brings nutrients to tissues and transports waste to the lungs, liver and kidneys, which expel them.

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Blood links

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Send us your stories and pictures!

 Recipient DrawingDo you know someone who has needed blood or blood products? Do you know someone who gives blood? Do you think giving blood is important?

If you do, submit a drawing or a writing sample, along with a copy of our Multimedia release form signed by your parents, to:

Canadian Blood Services
1800 Alta Vista Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1G 4J5
E-mail: feedback@blood.ca

Your submission may be posted on the Web!

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