How financial donors help us adapt, innovate & overcome: In 2019—2020, Canadian Blood Services’ generous financial donors made many important contributions to help catalyze meaningful change for patients across Canada. Their gifts helped strengthen our national programs and initiatives for blood, stem cells and organ and tissue donation and drove innovation in transfusion in transplantation medicine. During COVID-19, financial donors also helped us adapt, innovate and overcome new challenges, while continuing to meet patient needs. Read our 2019-2020 Annual Report to Financial Donors to learn more about their important and lifesaving contributions on Connect.
Meet the recipients of this year’s Living our values awards: The Living our values program recognizes colleagues or teams who best exemplify the values of Canadian Blood Services. This year, both an individual and a team have been recognized with the National Award of Distinction. These awards recognize a single individual and a single team, selected by our executive management. Aaron Barlow, a territory manager in southern Saskatchewan, received the national award for the work he did to bring his team together during COVID-19 with creativity and dedication. Meanwhile, the donor centre team in Charlottetown has created a welcoming environment for donors and employees alike, earning them the national team award. You can read more about these exemplary colleagues on Connect, and we hope you’ll extend a warm congratulations to all the national and regional recipients for their commitment to Canada’s Lifeline.
Vancouver home to unique donor centre collecting blood for research: Until five years ago, retired firefighter Kirby Graeme donated plasma every two weeks. When he got a false positive test for hepatitis B and was told he could no longer donate, he was very disappointed. Because he was donating in Vancouver, however, he was able to join a special group of donors: the ones who give to our Blood for Research Program. This special program in Vancouver is at our netCAD Blood for Research Facility at the University of British Columbia. It collects blood to support studies that improve Canadian Blood Services’ products and processes, as well as the work of other scientists across Canada. Read more at blood.ca/stories.
To honour Remembrance Day, this master corporal suggests donating blood: One of Greg Kitchen’s proudest moments was joining the Canadian Armed Forces at the age of 18. He always knew that he wanted to become part of something big, and since then, it has been a roller coaster ride. But when he first became a father — another proud moment for him — he was inspired by his son to become a blood donor. Greg’s son, Cole, was diagnosed with Diamond-Blackfan anemia at the age of two months. Cole’s condition is a rare blood disorder that affects his bone marrow’s ability to produce red blood cells. Some individuals with Diamond-Blackfan anemia require regular blood transfusions to stay alive. Cole’s condition inspired Greg to sign up as a blood donor and a registered organ donor. Read more on blood.ca/stories.
Question of the day: Have there been any recent updates to our eligibility criteria?
Yes, in fact two changes went into effect yesterday. We’ve clarified the eligibility criteria for donors who have tested positive for COVID-19 but never had symptoms (asymptomatic cases). They will need to wait 14 days after their positive test to donate. We’ve also extended the waiting period for donors who were hospitalized with COVID-19 from 14 days after a full recovery to 21 days. This is because of emerging evidence that people with more severe cases requiring hospitalization may be contagious for longer than those with milder cases.
We have also reversed the temporary decrease of the hemoglobin minimum. This change was originally made in July to reduce deferrals. As of yesterday, we’ve returned to normal levels. Males must have a hemoglobin level of at least 130 g/L and females must have a hemoglobin level of at least 125 g/L to donate whole blood.
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