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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich rollover incident caused by driver swerving to avoid deer

Driver uninjured, police unable to locate the deer

Langford man arrested after fleeing a serious crash in Saanich

Other driver sustained non-life-threatening injuries, police say

Cannabis responsible for higher incomes among Canadian farmers

Without cannabis sales, national crop revenues would have dropped in 2019

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Police watchdog recommends charges against five Mounties in Prince George man’s death

Police used pepper spray on the man, who then had trouble breathing before dying at the scene

B.C. tourism seeks relief as businesses wait for COVID-19 restrictions to ease

Mid-June earliest for more in-province travel to be authorized

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

B.C. woman launches First Nations search, rescue and patrol program

Linda Peters envisions trained searchers ready to go at moment’s notice in each B.C. First Nation

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Most Read