This summer, 70,000 people have carried the torch

Montréal, September 8, 2004 - This summer, 70,000 individuals accepted Héma-Québec’s invitation, and that of its community partners, to give blood. During the blood supplier’s summer campaign, which took place from June 14 until September 5, 2004, over 400 blood drives have been organized with the help of hundreds of volunteers.

" Summer is a crucial period for maintaining our collective blood reserve. On behalf of all blood recipients, Héma-Québec wishes to thank all the anonymous heroes, and 7,800 new blood donors, who have carried the torch during a blood drive to give blood", stated Dr. Francine Décary, Chief Executive Officer of Héma-Québec. She also underlines the fact that blood is a vital-yet perishable and irreplaceable - resource. At present, there is no artificial substitute.

The blood supply for Québec hospitals depends entirely on the generosity of people who are concerned about sharing the greatest wealth—health. Increasing the number of donors, who make up only 3% of the population, is a daily challenge.

Next September 28, Héma-Québec will celebrate its sixth year of existence. Each year, 2,500 to 3,000 blood drives are organized throughout Québec with community partners. More than 300,000 donors attend these drives each year and their donations go to 80,000 patients who need blood transfusions.

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