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About this site

Welcome to blood.ca, the home of Canadian Blood Services online, devoted to serving donors, volunteers, hospitals, recipients, patients, supporters, Canadians and the international community. Blood.ca is your source for learning about the blood system in Canada, the different ways you can donate, how you can get involved, and what we are up to!

Talk to us
We always welcome your questions and comments. Please contact us by email at feedback@blood.ca, or visit our Contact Us page to view a list of office and clinic locations.

Technical tips

Screen size
All Canadian Blood Services websites are designed for screen resolutions of either 800x600 or 640x480 pixels. Using a screen resolution of 800x600, you should be able to see most of the main screens with minimal scrolling. To change your screen resolution, go to your control panel and find ‘Display Properties’ or ‘Monitors & Sound’.

Font size
Our sites are best viewed when your default font is at a ‘medium’ setting or Arial size 9. If your font size is set significantly larger or smaller than this you may experience some distorted content or have difficulty viewing the text.

Troubleshooting and more!

Online services

Site loading issues

Searching this site

Printing, downloading and saving

Plug-ins and downloads

File formats and extensions
Graphics

Video and audio files

Email

Browsing

Error messages

Report an error or dead link

Online services

Search for clinics in your area >>

Become a bone marrow donor >>

Tell us if you've moved >>

Apply to become a donor >>

Donate a financial gift >>

Send an e-card! >>

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Site loading issues

I've been waiting too long for pages to load! What’s wrong?

If you are waiting more than 60 seconds for a page to load you may be having issues with connection speed or traffic at your Internet provider's end.

Another reason for failed pages may be that your security settings are at a level that does not allow you to view the page correctly. You may have a personal firewall installed, (McAfee, NOrton, ZoneAlarm, etc.) filtering everything you receive from the Internet and any application you use to access the Internet. When you install a personal firewall you'll encounter a wizard that helps you set rules about what data to allow through the wall and which applications are allowed to connect to the Internet.

I'm having difficulty loading your site. What can I do?

In most cases security settings or a firewall program does not allow you to view a sites web page. If you are running a firewall program you will need to 'disable browser privacy' and/or type in ‘http://www.blood.ca' to allow it through your firewall. This is usually found by accessing the help files for your particular firewall program. We recommend that you go into the set of rules and security settings of all your anti-virus and personal firewall programs and add 'http://www.blood.ca/' to your list of white pages, or 'safe' pages. If this doesn't help, contact us.

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Searching this site

Search this site

For a simple search, just type in a keyword or phrase in the ‘search’ box found at the top of all blood.ca pages and then click the search arrow button (or press the ENTER key on your keyboard). A query can be a single word, a string of words separated by spaces, or it can use more advanced syntax. We recommend that you use words that are likely to be unique to what you are looking for. Try the following:

  • Search by typing words and phrases (example: blood donation and type) - The search field finds documents containing all of the words in your query and presents results in order of relevance.

  • Identify phrases with quotation marks (example: (“blood donation” and type) - Quotes label exact phrases, so for the example above the search would find only pages about blood donation, not ‘blood’ in general.

  • Use advanced syntax - More complex searches can be performed by combining words and phrases with the following search command words:

    AND operator (example: blood and donation and type) - Finds documents containing all of the specified words or phrases.

    OR operator (example: blood or donation or type) - Finds documents containing at least one of the specified words or phrases. This provides much broader search results.

    NOT operator (example: “blood donation” not type) - Excludes documents containing the word or phrase that is positioned immediately after the operator.

Advanced search

You can perform an Advanced Search from any of our ‘search results’ pages. After you’ve performed an initial keyword or phrase search, the search results page will contain a link to our ‘Advanced Search’ form where you can try narrowing your search using multiple keywords and/or the creation or modification date. The Advanced Search form also allows you to limit the number of search results that you generate, and to sort the search results by date.

For more help on Advanced Search, click here.

A-Z index

The A-Z Index provides an alphabetical listing of all the commonly searched areas of interest, and it is accessible in the top navigation bar of this site; next to the ‘Contact us’ link.

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Printing, downloading and saving

With exception to our introduction page and our home page, every web page on blood.ca provides a 'printer-friendly' icon in the top right-hand side of the page. To print, simply click on this icon and follow your prompt screens. Another easy way to print out text from the Internet is to select the print option in your browser. Either select the print icon provided in your toolbar or select 'print' through the 'File' menu in your browser toolbar.

To save a web page make sure the window containing the desired page is highlighted, then click on 'Save' or 'Save As' under 'File' in your browser's toolbar and specify a file location and name (e.g. a:\mydocuments\donateblood).

To download a file means to save it locally on your computer's hard drive. To download and save a file, click on the document link to open it in another browser window. Go to 'File' in your toolbar and then select 'Save' or 'Save As'. If you don't want the document to open in your browser place your cursor over the document link and right click. From the menu displayed select 'Save Target as' and then specify the file location and name.

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Plug-ins and downloads

We provide free downloads and links to free plug-ins to enhance your experience. Several of the most common plug-ins is listed below. Not all of our sites require these plug-ins and each of these can be downloaded free of charge and are considered ‘safe’ downloads:

Adobe Acrobat formats documents so that they print accurately.

RealPlayer streams audio and video files so that you can enjoy multimedia experiences without waiting for the entire file to download.

Windows Media Player is used for playing audio and video files.

QuickTime enables you to watch videos or view QuickTime files and VRs (virtual reality scenes).

Shockwave allows you to view interactive Flash and Shockwave multimedia through your web browser.

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File formats and extensions

The way to identify the file type is by looking at its extension which is typically shown as a dot followed by up to 4 letters (".doc", ".xls", ".zip"). It is useful to make note of the file type before downloading so you'll know if it will work on your computer.

We use the Portable Document Format (PDF) to preserve a document's page layout, regardless of the computer platform being used. To view or download these files you need Adobe Acrobat Reader which can be downloaded for free.

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Graphics

The most common graphic file formats that are used on blood.ca are .jpg and .gif and can be viewed on a PC, Mac or Unix computer provided you have a viewer installed on your machine.

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Video and audio files

A number of different multimedia formats can be found on blood.ca. Our multimedia files are put on a streaming server so that these files will play directly to your player or in your browser upon clicking the file link. You can listen to audio files by clicking the mp3 audio file link which will download or open the file, and may start playing it, depending on your computer's configuration. Here is a list of video formats that we use and the players you will need to view them (all available for free download):

  • Windows media (.avi) - Microsoft Windows Media Player
  • RealMedia (.rm, a streaming format) - RealPlayer
  • QuickTime Movie (.mov) - QuickTime Player
  • MPEG (.mpg) - Microsoft Windows Media Player and QuickTime Player.

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Email

How do you use email information?

We collect email information through secure and confidential online forms from individuals who voluntarily opt-in to receive email communications. We comply with applicable laws and regulations, and treat all personal information in the strictest of confidence. Our practice is to use an opt-in process to ensure you want to receive a particular piece of communication, and we always offer an ‘unsubscribe’ feature in all emails.

How come I can't view the emails that you're sending me?

If you currently use an anti-spam program or service or if your ISP or e-mail provider does, our email communications may not be getting to you! To make sure that our emails and support emails are not filtered into your "junk" or "bulk" folder, please add us to your list of trusted senders, (i.e. add our send (or "From" address) to your permitted e-mail sender list, whitelist, safe list or list of privileged senders). Here's how you can add us:

Hotmail: Place the domain http:/www.blood.ca in your safe list. The safe list can be accessed via the "Options" link next to the main menu tabs.

Yahoo! Mail: If one of our emails is filtered to your 'bulk' folder, open the message and click on the "this is not Spam" link next to the "From" field.

AOL: Place the domain http:/www.blood.ca in your address book.

Other providers: If one of your emails is being filtered, try adding 'feedback@blood.ca' and 'feedback@blood.ca' or our newsletter's 'From' or 'Reply-to' address to your address book or contact list. If this option is not available, try moving the message to your 'inbox' or forwarding the message to yourself.

If subsequent messages continue to be filtered, call or e-mail your ISP's technical support and specifically ask how you can be sure to receive all e-mail from http://www.blood.ca. Follow their instructions for white listing http://www.blood.ca.

We're very sorry for any inconvenience you may have experienced.

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Browsing

Which web browsers does www.blood.ca support?

This site is best viewed with the following supported and tested browsers:

Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 7.0
Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 6.0.2
MOzilla Firefox 1.5
Safari 1.3.2

What if I’m using a browser that you do not support?

If your browser is not working properly when viewing this site we recommend that you download the current version of Microsoft Internet Explorer, or any of the other supported browsers listed above; which are all available for free download.

If you are using a browser that we do not support, you may experience difficulty using any of our online registration processes or online forms – such as our Change your address form, New donor application form, or the bone marrow registration process (www.blood.ca/registry).

Why doesn’t my browser’s back button work with some of your pages?

We are aware of some programming issues with the back button on certain web pages. We will rectify this problem shortly. If encountered, please click on your back button twice in rapid succession. This will bring you back to the previous page.

Blood.ca uses "pointer pages" to open a form and in some instances a document. From these forms if you click your "back" button you will return to the pointer page which in turn brings you right back to the form or document you were just at. In order to get back to the previous page use the down arrow button directly beside the "Back" button. A history list will be provided, and you can choose the page that you want to return to.

I'm experiencing difficulty with the online forms while using IE. How do I fix this?

You can try some of the tricks below to see if any of them resolve the problem:

Clear your browser’s cache
Clearing your browser's cache may resolve the problem you're experiencing. To do so in Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher:

  1. Open IE and click "Tools."
  2. Select "Internet Options."
  3. Click "General," if it isn't already selected.
  4. Under the heading "Temporary Internet files," click "Delete Files...."
  5. Click "OK" to exit.

Make sure Javascript, Activex, and ‘binary behaviours’ are enabled
To enable these browser settings in IE:

  1. Click "Tools" > "Internet Options."
  2. Click the "Security" tab.
  3. Click the "Custom Level" button.
  4. Verify that the "Enable" button next to "Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins" is selected.
  5. If you're using XP, verify that the "Enable" button next to Binary and script behaviours are selected. If you're not using XP, continue to step six.
  6. Verify that the Enable button under Active scripting is selected.
  7. Click OK, and then click OK again to save your changes.

The easiest and safest way to enable dynamic content or online forms in your browser is to add Canadian Blood Services to your list of trusted sites in Internet Explorer. To do this:

  1. Click "Tools" > "Internet Options."
  2. Click the "Security" tab.
  3. Select the "Trusted sites" icon, and click the "Sites" button.
  4. Un-check the box "Require server verification for all sites in this zone."
  5. In the "Add this Web site to the zone:" text box, type "www.blood.ca" (without quotes) and click "Add."
  6. Repeat step five for "www.donorsforlife.ca" and "www.lifeblood.ca."
  7. Click OK, and then click OK again to save your changes.

Update the ‘scripting engine’ of your system
We may at times take advantage of several advanced browser features. If your browser appears not to load some pages properly, you may need to update your "scripting engine." You can obtain the latest scripting engine directly from Microsoft:

For Windows XP and 2000
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=C717D943-7E4B-4622-86EB-95A22B832CAA&displaylang=en

For Windows 98, ME, or NT 4.0
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=0A8A18F6-249C-4A72-BFCF-FC6AF26DC390&displaylang=en

You'll probably need to restart your system after performing this update. Once you restart your system, try our site again to see if this step resolved your difficulty. If this didn't resolve your difficulty, you may want to try the next step.

Check for ‘security settings’ or browser plug-ins
Some security programs and third-party browser plug-ins are designed to modify webpage content and may interfere with the map display. If applicable, please try temporarily disabling components that may disable our maps in your browser.

Some of your images and online forms aren't appearing and I'm not using IE. How can I see them?

Reconfiguring the way your browser handles JavaScript may resolve this problem. If you're using Mac OS X or Windows with Mozilla Firefox 0.8+, Mozilla 1.4+, or Netscape 7.1+, just follow these steps:

  1. Type "about:config" (without quotes) in the browser's address bar.
  2. Type "image" (without quotes) in the Filter field.
  3. Verify that "dom.disable_image_src_set" is set to FALSE.
  4. Verify that "network.image.imageBehavior" is set to 0 (the default setting).

Please note that "network.image.imageBehavior" may appear as "permissions.default.image" for some browsers.

If you continue to experience difficulties, you may want to uninstall any programs or extensions that change the way your browser handles JavaScript. We also recommend that you download the current version of Microsoft Internet Explorer, or any of the other supported browsers listed above; which are all available for free download.

The forms and images on blood.ca look distorted on my notebook computer. How do I fix this?

Some notebook computer users may experience problems while viewing content in high resolution. For more information on Windows support for high DPI screens please see http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=kb;EN-US;Q820286.

You may be able to resolve this problem by changing the dots per inch (DPI) settings of your display to 96 DPI. To change your DPI settings to a compatible format, please follow these steps:

  1. Click "Start" > "Settings" > "Control Panel."
  2. Double-click on "Display."
  3. Select the "Settings" tab.
  4. Click "Advanced" and choose the "General" tab.
  5. From the drop-down menu under "Display," change the DPI setting to "Normal Size (96 DPI)" and click "OK."
  6. Click "OK" again to apply the changes.

Windows may require a restart to fully apply the changes. Note that you can revert back to 120 DPI by repeating the steps above. All you need to do is select "Large size (120 DPI)" from the drop-down menu in step five.

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Error messages

I tried to view one of your pages and I was given an error message in my browser. How do I correct this?

There could be a number of reasons why you have received an error message. Sometimes error messages are identified with a small icon in the lower left-hand side of your browser window. By double-clicking on this icon you can see the details of the error that has occurred.

Here is a list of common error codes and a description of the errors that you might come across:

Error codes in the 400 and 500 range are the codes that are most common to the end user:

400 Codes
The 400 codes are intended for cases in which the client (Mosaic, Netscape, etc) seems to have caused some sort of problem when asking the server for a HTML document.
Bad request 400:
This is a fairly common error and basically means that the requested document could not be sent because of syntax error in the URL (site address).

Unauthorized 401:
This is one of the most common error messages and usually means that the Server is expecting some sort of encryption id from the browser (Mosaic, Netscape, etc) and when it does not receive it, the server issues an error message.

Forbidden 403:
The document you are requesting is "forbidden" meaning that you do not have read privileges or are not allowed to have the page sent to you.

Not found 404:
This is the most common and is similar to the 400 error. Basically this means that the document you have requested no longer exists or that the URL (site address) is incorrect.
500 Codes
The 500 codes are intended for instances when the Server software (NCSA HTTPD, Netsite, etc.) running on the site that you are contacting is having a problem sending you the html document.
Internal Error 500:
The server was unable to send the html document to you due to an internal (server software) error.

Not implemented 501:
This error occurs when for example, you have pressed the submit button on a form. The server replies with this error message because it doesn’t support the feature that you have requested. This is not a real common error, but typically occurs when new features or forms are implemented.

Service temporarily overloaded 502:
The server cannot process the request due to a high load (whether HTTP servicing or other requests from users). Basically, this is the "if at first you don't succeed..." error. The solution is to try back later at a time when net load or server traffic is lower.

Gateway timeout 503:
This error is caused by the connection timing out, either due to server problems, net problems or client problems. Basically, the request for information stops because the pathway to the web server has been closed.

Occasionally when I follow a link to a site, I get a "Permission Denied" or "File Not Found" message. Why?

There may be several reasons why you'd get such an error message, including:

  • The site you're visiting may be busy or temporarily down. This can happen a lot, especially with overloaded (or extremely popular) sites. Try again later, such overload problems are usually fixed with time.

  • The site may be denying people access, intentionally or unintentionally. You might consider trying to contact the webmaster directly via email.

  • The site simply may no longer exist.

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Report an error or dead link

Please help keep us up-to-date by reporting:

  • site errors,
  • links that result in an error message,
  • links that are dead ("Not Found," "Doesn't Exist," etc.), and
  • your website suggestions…
to feedback@blood.ca.

If you receive a message that says, "Canadian Blood Services - Document Not Found," it probably means that the page you have bookmarked or are getting from another source has moved. Categories and pages are sometimes moved or rearranged. To locate a relocated page, try searching for the page using our site search box located at the top of every page.

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