Upper age limit for donating blood eliminated:

Héma-Québec modifies its criteria concerning donor age

Montreal, October 29, 2004 - As of October 31, 2004, the upper age limit for donating blood in Québec will be eliminated. In fact, Héma-Québec is modifying its criteria concerning donor age.

Nevertheless, in order to ensure the safety of blood donors, specific criteria concerning age will have to be respected. Donors between the ages of 67 and 70, inclusively, who have not given blood in the last two years, as well as new donors 61 and older will have to provide a letter from their physician certifying that they are in good health and can give blood. Moreover, donors 71 and older will have to provide a letter each year from their physician, certifying that they are in good health and can give blood.

Those individuals affected by these criteria can obtain a form letter on the Héma-Québec Web site at www.hema-quebec.qc.ca, at blood drives, at Globule blood donor centres, or by calling 1 800 847-2525.

" The erosion of the bank of blood donors, specifically as a result of the aging of the population, has added to our recruiting challenge. This modification in age criteria will help to ensure a more adequate supply of blood products, since the career of a healthy blood donor will be extended to a significant degree," declared Dr. Francine Décary, Chief Executive Officer of Héma-Québec.

In addition to medical approval, it should be noted that qualification criteria apply to anyone who wishes to give blood. In order to ensure the safety of blood transfusion recipients, anyone who goes to a blood drive must complete a health questionnaire in order to confirm that he/she satisfies the Héma-Québec eligibility criteria.

In fact, the evaluation of the ability to donate blood, which is Héma-Québec’s responsibility, is based on the health questionnaire as well as on hemoglobin level and vital signs. It should be noted that anyone 18 years of age or older can give blood, unless there is a legal restriction. Donors must be in good health, feel well on the day of the donation, weigh more than 50 kilograms (110 lb.), and have waited 56 days since their last blood donation. For information about other blood donation eligibility criteria, visit the Héma-Québec Web site at www.hema-quebec.qc.ca or call 1 800 847-2525.

Created in September 1998, 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.

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  Letter to the attending physician (64 KB)