As hospitals resume procedures that were put on hold during COVID-19, now more than ever, everything Canada’s health professionals do to help patients needing medical treatment and surgeries and in emergency situations depends on donors.
Blood, platelet, and plasma donors are essential to sustaining Canada’s lifeline for a healthy blood supply. For that reason, Canadian Blood Services is calling on all potential donors to fill every available appointment this summer.
To be eligible to donate blood, you must follow the eligibility requirements, such as:
Be at least 17 years old
Be in general good health
Have not travelled to a malaria risk zone in the last 12 months
As well, those who have contracted COVID-19 and their close contacts are not eligible to donate blood for 14 days after the infected person's recovery. However, those who have recovered from COVID-19 are encouraged to donate their plasma.
Photo: Canadian Blood Services
In compliance with B.C. public health authorities' requests to practice physical distancing, donor centres will only welcome people with appointments.
There are three main blood donor centre locations in the Lower Mainland:
Vancouver Donor Centre, located at 4750 Oak Street
Downtown Donor Centre, located at 888 Dunsmuir Street
Surrey Donor Centre, located at 15285 101 Avenue
Canadian Blood Services also hosts community donation events. The full list of locations and date can be found at blood.ca or the GiveBlood App.
If you have never donated blood before, here are a few key things to keep in mind:
Drink fluids and eat salty snacks before and after your donation experience to maintain your blood volume
Plan to spend about an hour at the donor centre to allow time for check-in and pre-screening
Conducted by specially trained donor staff, the donation procedure will take 5 to 10 minutes
You can then return to your normal activities such as work and school
Avoid strenuous exercise for six to eight hours following your donation
Keep on drinking extra fluids for the next 24 hours
As donor centres have always been extremely robust, Canadian Blood Services are prepared with enhanced safety protocols for screening donors and cleaning their centres. All staff and donors are also require to wear a mask. Donors who do not have a mask will be given a reusable one to wear and keep.
To understand the impact of a single donation, a pint of donated blood can save up to three lives, and that could include the life of a child, a senior, or a loved one in your community.
This summer, book an appointment, and save a life.
To schedule your donation appointment, download the GiveBlood app, call 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283), or visit blood.ca/bc.