Blood donations needed: National inventory has declined this summer

Donors are needed to boost inventory through the August long weekend

(OTTAWA) – The national blood inventory has steadily declined this summer and needs a boost to continue to meet the needs of patients through the August long weekend and into the coming weeks.  Canadian Blood Services is asking people to give blood before and after the long weekend. 


Chart of weekly blood donors from August to December

“Summer is a challenging time for blood collection, when many regular donors are on vacation, - this is great time for new donors to join us and help prevent a further decline in the national inventory,” says Mark Donnison, vice president of donor relations.  “Platelets derived from blood are critical to help stop bleeding and unfortunately expire just five days after a blood donation.”

Jill Nicholson understands the need for blood all too well.  She was driving home from work on her motorcycle in June 2012 when she collided with an SUV pulling a trailer, crushing her leg.  In the first 24 hours, she required surgery and 11 units of blood to replace blood lost as a result of the accident. Link to story


Levels of all Blood Types

Jill is thankful for the blood that helped save her life and encourages all eligible donors to give their most precious gift.

“There are many people who need blood on a daily basis. Just think of all the people who need blood because of accidents and medical conditions. Blood donors are the great people who help save them.  They help keep so many people alive without even knowing them.”

The Canada Safety Council reports that “more fatalities occur on Canadian roads during summer months than any other time of year.” It can take up to 50 donors to help save someone who has been in a motor vehicle accident.

To book an appointment to give blood, use the Give Blood App or visit Those with appointments are encouraged to keep their appointment and, if possible, bring a friend or family member to donate with them.  Walk-ins are also welcome.

Check out the status of our national blood inventory.

Quick Facts

  • Ideally, Canadian Blood Services should have 20,000 - 30,000 units of blood in their inventory.
  • Canadian Blood Services needs to collect a minimum of 16,000 units of blood each week to meet the needs of patients
  • Platelets expire after 5 days
  • Red blood cells expire after  42 days
  • Plasma expires after one year