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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Hotel workers gather in Victoria, demand right to return to work

Workers also asking the government to make sure employers don’t use pandemic to replace them

Victoria archery club says goodbye to outdoor range in View Royal

Province-owned View Royal property will house handyDART facility

MISSING: Victoria woman dubbed high-risk, last seen mid-June

Kristy Bolton is known to frequent the Rock Bay area

Victoria police beat the heat with a cool summer treat

Officers patrol Esquimalt and Vic West on bicycle as part of Summer Action Plan

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Elizabeth May endorses Furstenau in BC Greens race

Former federal party leader backs Cowichan Valley MLA

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Most Read