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  Weekly Feature (January 9, 2005)

Blood Donation
Dina's Weekly Feature



Did you know that most people think the number of blood donors in Canada is larger than it really is?

Although about 33% of Canadians say that they will donate blood within the year, only 4% actually carry through with their promise.

Blood products are used in a variety of situations such as cancer treatments, organ transplants, heart surgery, caring for premature infants and resuscitation of trauma patients. Having a supply of blood is important in order to meet the demand of any emergency.

Blood products come from the many different parts of blood. Each blood donation is separated into four major components: Red blood cells (carries oxygen to tissues and removes carbon dioxide through the lungs). White blood cells (protect the body from infection). Platelets (involved in blood clotting). Plasma (a liquid that contains many of the body’s proteins that fight infection, distributes nutrients and transports waste products).

Some interesting facts about blood include:
 The average amount of blood in one person is 5 liters.
 There is approximately 450 mL in one unit of blood.
 On average 4.6 units of blood is required for each patient.

To be eligible to donate blood, first time donors must be between 17 to 61 years of age, weigh at least 50 kg, and be in good health. Be sure to have identification with you if giving blood and be prepared to answer some screening questions.

To find out more about donating, volunteering, blood types, safety and testing, and more go to Canadian Blood Services



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