At Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS), we use more than 27,000 units of blood each year to care for patients and save lives.
Lives like 8-year old Angelica, who needs a blood transfusion every two weeks to treat her condition, Thalassemia. It’s an inherited blood disorder that causes her red blood cells to function improperly and die. Because Angelica has fewer healthy cells traveling throughout her bloodstream, she needs transfusions of donated blood to survive.
“Angelica is considered a high user patient since her condition will require life long blood transfusions,” says Jennifer Wolfenden, one of Angelica’s nurses at McMaster Children’s Hospital. “She cannot live without them.”
Angelica is just one example of the crucial role blood donations play in patient care. A patient undergoing a stem cell transplant needs two units each day. Someone receiving leukemia treatment needs up to eight units every week. A car crash victim may need up to 50 units of blood. The care we provide these patients improves and saves lives, but we couldn’t do it without blood donors.
About half of the general public are eligible to donate blood. If every eligible staff member at Hamilton Health Sciences donated we would have about 7,500 donors!
Currently, only 1.4 per cent of staff at HHS donate blood. We’re committed to increasing this number.
“We are so thankful to have partnered with Hamilton Health Sciences as they have helped contribute to the number of blood donations we have received in past years,” says Jonida Haxhirexha, territory manager of Canadian Blood Services. “So far this year, staff at HHS have contributed over 50 donations. By raising awareness we hope to increase those numbers.”
We are participating in the Hospital Blood Donation Challenge to increase awareness and donations among staff. In order for Canadian Blood Services to “track” each donation made by a staff member at HHS, donors can register online here. After you have registered, you will need to book an appointment. Each time you donate blood, it will automatically be tracked and will help save lives!
As Angelica puts it, “I need blood for my life.”