Canadian Blood Services celebrated blood donors during National Blood Donor Week (June 13-19) for maintaining consistent collections throughout COVID-19 and supporting patients in need of lifesaving blood products. Donors are a critical link in Canada’s Lifeline. Their essential support has ensured patients in Canada receive blood where and when they need it.
“In a disruptive and uncertain environment where we’ve seen frequent shortages of products and services around the world and various pandemic waves, blood donors have ensured that no patient in need of blood or blood products went without,” says Rick Prinzen, Canadian Blood Services chief supply chain officer and vice-president of donor relations.
“Cancer patients, accident victims and people with blood disorders rely on blood, platelets, and plasma transfusions every day. Coping with the pandemic hasn’t been easy and we are extremely grateful to all donors across Canada for their commitment to meeting patients’ needs in these difficult times.”
Even with COVID-19 and its impacts, donors have helped maintain the national blood inventory, and they have also extended their support to other areas of Canada’s Lifeline.
“Whether you have donated blood, plasma, stem cells, cord blood or financial gifts that have helped us increase our donor recruitment this year, we appreciate all donors for keeping Canada’s Lifeline strong,” Rick says.
Canadian Blood Services has had enhanced safety measures in place in all its facilities across the country throughout the pandemic to ensure the wellbeing of donors, its volunteers and staff is safeguarded. Despite increasing levels of concern on the perceived threat levels of COVID-19, donors have shown unprecedented levels of confidence and trust in Canadian Blood Services to protect them.
Ipsos poll surveys led by the organization have tracked donor perceptions since the start of the pandemic. Findings over the last three months have supported the tremendous response from donors. The most recent findings among donors surveyed in May indicated that most donors (97%) continue to feel it is safe to donate blood at this time and a majority (99%) feel confident in the ability of Canadian Blood Services to protect their health and safety.
The continued support of donors provides a lifeline for patients like Jakob Guziak, a 20-month-old toddler from Edmonton, Alberta who has a very rare immune disorder. He is treated with a medication made from plasma and urgently requires a stem cell transplant from an unrelated stem cell donor.
Jakob’s father, Kamil Guziak, is white, and his mom, Andrea AbdulRahin is Hispanic. His best match would likely be a donor who shares his mixed-race background. However, Hispanics and those with mixed-race backgrounds make up a small percentage of the prospective donors in Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry. The family is pleading for more potential stem cell donors from diverse ancestry to join Canada’s Lifeline.
“At all times, donors play an essential role in meeting patients’ needs across Canada. The need is constant for blood, stem cells and plasma donors. To show your support as we head into summer, please encourage your friends, family, and community to donate,” says Eric Prinzen.
Legislated by the Government of Canada in 2008, National Blood Donor Week (June 13-19) recognizes and celebrates donors who selflessly help their fellow citizens.
In addition to booking appointments this summer to help hospital patients, we invite you to share how your connection to Canada’s Lifeline started at blood.ca/reasons and on your social media channel(s). Tag us @Canadaslifeline so we can like and share your posts and use the hash tags #CanadasLifeline #NBDW2021.
Download the GiveBlood app and join Canada’s Lifeline. Please call 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283) or book now at blood.ca.
Canadian Blood Services is a not-for-profit charitable organization. Regulated by Health Canada as a biologics manufacturer and primarily funded by the provincial and territorial ministries of health, Canadian Blood Services operates with a national scope, infrastructure and governance that make it unique within Canadian healthcare.