Alice Boggs regularly donates blood, saying “It’s just something that I figure I can do – not everyone can – I don’t have a rare blood type or anything, but it’s still a blood type.” Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

National Blood Donor Week kicks off with collection clinic in Victoria

‘The Missing Type’ campaign takes to social media, Canadians encouraged to learn blood type, donate

One in two people in Canada are eligible to donate blood, and yet just one in 60 actually do – that’s a statistic David Patterson, director of donor relations for Canadian Blood Services in BC and the Yukon is trying to change.

As part of the 10th anniversary of National Blood Donor Week (June 11 to 17) in Canada, the B.C. Ministry of Health held a local blood drive at their downtown location Monday, aiming to put a dent in the 6,000 open appointments in clinics across the province.

“We do a very good job of making blood safe for patients, but we can’t manufacture blood,” Patterson says, referring to donors. “We couldn’t run a blood system without them.”

By July 1, an estimated 44,000 blood donors are needed across Canada. The summer season tends to see a drop in the number of donors and CBS struggles to maintain the levels of blood needed.

While 1,700 clinics run on an annual basis in B.C., collecting over 10,000 units of blood per week, CBS runs a national inventory for blood supply.

“There are patients out there who have very rare blood types,” Patterson explains. “The person who may match a person for Victoria may live in Regina, so we do that matching across the country.”

Less than four per cent of the population supports 100 per cent of the patients in Canada, he adds.

RELATED: Canada’s oldest blood donor says it’s all gain, no pain after decades of giving

Alice Boggs regularly donates blood – women can do so every 12 weeks, men every eight weeks – and felt compelled to drop by the clinic Monday morning. Boggs donated three times last year, and plans to donate plasma, a liquid component of blood, in the coming weeks.

“It’s just something that I figure I can do – not everyone can – I don’t have a rare blood type or anything, but it’s still a blood type,” she says.

As part of National Blood Donor Week, Canadian Blood Services is running a campaign called ‘The Missing Type.’ Keep an eye out on social media, where Canadians are encouraged to remove the letters ‘a’ ‘b’ and ‘o’ from their handles and posts, to draw awareness to the letters of the main blood groups, and learn their own blood types.

RELATED: Canadian Blood Services clinic a lifeline in times of crisis

“As blood donors, we can make sure there is never a missing blood type,” says Rick Prinzen, Canadian Blood Services’ chief supply chain officer and VP of donor relations. “We need to constantly add new blood donors to have enough of each blood type on hand for patients across Canada.”

If you’re unsure about whether you’re able to donate, visit blood.ca to take the eligibility quiz, download the GiveBlood app, or call 1-888-236-6283 at any time to speak with a nurse.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Robbery suspects ram Sooke police car while fleeing officers

Police searching for cube van and suspects

Retail development Sidney Crossing cancelled due to construction costs

Cost-sharing agreement couldn’t be reached for required pedestrian bridge

Fog in Victoria affects at least four airlines

Oct. 23 is the fourth day in last week fog has cancelled flights

PHOTOS: Bear fishes for salmon in Goldstream Park

Each fall thousands of vistors head to the park to watch the annual salmon spawn

Video shows break-in at Saanich underground parking lot

Saanich Police are looking for two men caught on camera Monday night

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

B.C.’s natural gas supply could see 50% dip through winter due to pipeline blast

It’s been two weeks since the Enbridge pipeline ruptured near Prince George on Oct. 9, sparking a large fireball

Mega Millions, Powerball prizes come down to math, long odds

Biggest myth: The advertised $1.6 billion Mega Millions prize and $620 million Powerball prize aren’t quite real

2 Canadians advance to finals at world wrestling championships

Olympic champion Erica Wiebe just missed joining them with a loss 3-1 to three-time world champion Adeline Gray of the United States in the 76-kg event

VIDEO: Fire destroys historic small-town B.C. restaurant

Two people were injured as fire ripped through the Hedley restaurant around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday

B.C. town’s mayoral race a tie, come down to luck of the draw

Harry Gough led incumbent Cindy Fortin by one vote on election night Saturday

Outdoor retailer MEC vows to boost diversity after online complaint

Mountain Equipment Co-op was criticized for perpetuating a white-only picture of the outdoors

Trump vilifies caravan, says he’ll cut Central American aid

Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the Guatemala-Mexico border, about 5,000 Central American migrants resumed their advance toward the U.S. border Sunday in southern Mexico.

Federal carbon tax rebates will exceed the cost for most people affected

Officials say 70 per cent of people in those provinces will get back more than they end up paying out as fuel costs rise to incorporate the carbon tax.

Most Read