Canadian Blood Services Celebrates National Blood Donor Week by Asking Young Canadians to Save More Lives

The Future of Canada's Blood System Depends on Younger Donors Becoming Life-long Donors

OTTAWA, June 11, 2010 /Canada NewsWire Telbec/ - Canadian Blood Services kicks off the summer with National Blood Donor Week June 14-20 and World Blood Donor Day which falls on Monday, June 14. This year's global theme focuses on young donors with the slogan, "New blood for the world."

"National Blood Donor Week is our opportunity to show appreciation for the generous Canadians who donate blood, plasma, platelets and stem cells, and to let them know how much their donation matters," says Ian Mumford, Chief Operating Officer of Canadian Blood Services. "By focusing on youth we are hoping to set the path for a new generation of blood donors."

As the demand for blood increases year over year, Canadian Blood Services needs to recruit a new generation of blood donors to meet growing hospital demand and help patients in need across the country. Canadian Blood Services is reaching out to younger donors now and trying to retain them as regular donors throughout their lifetime.

"Young people are making an important contribution to Canada's blood system by donating blood and recruiting other young people to join them, says Mumford. "Last year, Canadians aged 17-24 accounted for about 139,000 blood donations, or 15 per cent of all blood donations in Canada. We need to recruit approximately 77,000 new donors this year to grow our donor base and to keep up with the growing demand for blood and blood products."

Although this year's National Blood Donor Week theme focuses on youth, Canadian Blood Services is encouraging people of all ages to become regular blood donors.

Youth Blood Donor Facts

- 5.3% of eligible 17-24 year olds donated blood last year versus approximately 3.4% of the overall eligible population in Canada
- Last year, there were 422,847 blood donors in Canada and 85,588 of those donors were aged 17 - 24
- Donors aged 17 - 24 account for 20% of the donors in Canada
- Donors aged 17 - 24 made 138,748 blood donations last year, or 15% of all blood donations in Canada
- Donors aged 17 - 24 accounted for 46% of all new blood donors in Canada last year
- On average, donors aged 17-24 donate 1.62 times per year versus 2.18 times per year for donors of all ages
- People can begin donating blood as early as 17 years of age.

Between National Blood Donor Week and the end of August, Canadian Blood Services needs 194,342 donors to give blood in across the country in order to meet patient and hospital demand.

Please book an appointment to donate blood today. Call 1 888 2 DONATE (1 888 236 6283).

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About National Blood Donor Week (June 14 - 20, 2010)

In 2008 a bill was passed by the federal government recognizing National Blood Donor Week as an opportunity to celebrate and thank the donors and volunteers of the blood system in Canada who ensure the health of their fellow citizens. The week also builds awareness of the importance of blood, plasma, platelet and bone and stem cell donations, and encourages Canadians to donate or become a volunteer - especially during the challenging summer months. This year, National Blood Donor Week runs from June 14 - 20.

About World Blood Donor Day (June 14, 2010)

World Blood Donor Day falls within National Blood Donor Week on June 14 - the birth date of Karl Landsteiner, a pioneer of transfusion medicine. Every year, the World Health Organization selects a country to host international celebrations. This year, Spain will host World Blood Donor Day with the theme "New blood for the world". Celebrations will centre in Barcelona.

About Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the supply of blood and blood products in all provinces and territories outside of Quebec. Canadian Blood Services also oversees the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, and provides national leadership for organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Canadian Blood Services operates 42 permanent collection sites and more than 20,000 donor clinics annually. The provincial and territorial Ministries of Health provide operational funding to Canadian Blood Services. The federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for regulating the blood system. For more information, please visit our website at