More Ways You Can Help
Donate Blood and Platelets for Transfusions
Platelets are the component of blood that helps with clotting. If an injury or blood loss occurs, platelets are released and a person’s blood begins to clot to prevent excessive bleeding. In a healthy person, a large number of platelets are manufactured and stored in the body. Patients who experience prolonged bleeding associated with diseases like cancer need large quantities of platelets as part of their treatment.
Whole blood is made of several components that can be transfused separately or together to treat various conditions:
- Red blood cells carry oxygen to tissues and remove carbon dioxide through the lungs.
- White blood cells protect the body from infection. (They also, however, can carry viruses and bacteria—which is why they are removed from donated blood.)
- Platelets provide the basis for clotting, which helps control bleeding.
- Plasma is a liquid containing proteins that help fight infection and assist clotting. Plasma distributes nutrients to tissues and transports waste products to the lungs, liver and kidneys.
Patients who have bone marrow failure may have too few:
- red blood cells and need transfusions or packed red blood cells;
- platelets and experience prolonged bleeding and may need large quantities of platelets as part of their treatment.
Platelet donations are by appointment only. If you are thinking of making your first platelet donation call Canadian Blood Services at 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283) or Héma-Québec at 1-888-666-HEMA (1-888-666-4362). If you have already donated platelets and want to book an appointment, call the local number for your region.
Join the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network
The OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network is responsible for finding and matching volunteer donors to patients who require stem cell transplants. Fewer than 25 percent of patients who need stem cell transplants find a compatible donor in their own family. The rest rely on those who have volunteered to donate stem cells to anyone in need. Because Canadian Blood Services’ OneMatch program belongs to an international network of registries, we can search more than 23 million donors in more than 70 registries in other countries when we need to find a match. By making donor data available worldwide, international registries have significantly increased the odds of finding a matching donor for any patient anywhere in the world.
Tree of Life Dedication
The Tree of Life (pictured here) is a way of recognizing those who have been affected by aplastic anemia, myelodysplasia, or PNH. You may make a tax-deductible donation of $150 to have a special person’s name inscribed on the tree. This beautiful carved tree is on display at our national office.