New Canadian Blood Services iron guidelines mean more donors needed

100,000 new donors needed across the country this year alone

(OTTAWA) – Canadian Blood Services is changing its guidelines for iron levels to further promote health and wellness among blood donors. Female donors will need to wait longer between blood donations and male donors will need to pass a slightly stricter hemoglobin test.

Starting Dec. 10, female donors will need to wait 12 weeks between blood donations, replacing the current eight week waiting period. The minimum allowable hemoglobin level for male donors will increase starting March 5, 2017 from 125 g/L to 130 g/L.

“We continue to promote the health and wellness of donors as they donate the important and generous gift of life,” says Mark Donnison, vice-president of donor relations, Canadian Blood Services. “Many donors will not be able to donate as often, so others must step forward to fill this gap by giving blood and encouraging friends and family to make giving a part of their lives.”

Patients are relying on 100,000 new donors from across the country to give blood this year alone. More new donors are needed right now to help save lives. Canadian Blood Services is also calling on eligible donors to book an appointment today while walk-ins are also welcome at all clinics. 

To book an appointment, use the Give Blood App or visit Those with appointments are encouraged to keep their appointment and bring a friend or family member to donate with them.

Quick Facts

  • Less than 400,000 Canadians actively donate blood.
  • One in two Canadians is eligible to donate but only one in 60 give.
  • Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells which is necessary for carrying oxygen to the tissues in your body.
  • Iron is an essential element for producing hemoglobin, but it is also found in other parts of the body. It’s possible to have normal hemoglobin levels but to have low iron.

For more information contact or call 1-888-236-6283.