31,000 blood donors expected during Héma-Québec’s holiday campaign

Montréal, November 27, 2005 - Under the theme “Share a unique gift. Give blood. Give life.”, Héma-Québec's holiday season campaign will take place from November 28, 2005 to January 6, 2006. During this time, Héma-Québec hopes to welcome more than 31,000 blood donors at the some 200 blood drives that will be organized in co-operation with community volunteers and partner organizations throughout Québec.

Héma-Québec would like to remind the public that, during the holiday season, the need for blood is constant. “At this time of the year, Quebecers are invited to share the unique gift of health. A blood donation requires little time to wrap and it is a present beyond compare for patients who need to receive transfusions,” said Dr. Francine Décary, Chief Executive Officer of Héma-Québec.

Remember that it is impossible to become contaminated when giving blood. All materials are new, sterilized and used only once. Each blood donation can help save up to four lives. Before being shipped to Québec hospitals, the bags of blood collected by Héma-Québec are separated into various blood components, namely: red blood cells, plasma, platelets, and cryoprecipitate.

It should be noted that there is no longer an upper age limit for giving blood in Québec. Any healthy individual aged 18 years and older who meets Héma-Québec's eligibility criteria can give blood every 56 days, namely six times per year. Donors can attend mobile blood drives taking place during this time or visit one of the GLOBULE Blood Donor Centres, at Place Versailles and at 4045 Côte-Vertu Boulevard in Montréal, and at Place Laurier in Québec. To receive more information on blood drives locations and schedules, donors can dial 1-800-343-7264 or visit Héma-Québec’s Web site at www.hema-quebec.qc.ca.

Since it was founded in September 1998, Héma-Québec has welcomed more than 2,100,000 blood donors at 14,000 blood drives organized in co-operation with community partners throughout Québec. On average, Héma-Québec delivers some 400,000 blood products to hospitals each year in order to meet patients' needs.

Created in September 1998, Héma-Québec’s mission is to efficiently provide adequate quantities of safe, optimal blood components, substitutes, human tissues and cord blood to meet the needs of all Quebecers; and to provide and develop expertise and services, along with specialized and innovative products, in the fields of transfusion medicine and human tissue transplantation.

Share a unique gift.
Give blood. Give life.

– 30 –