This summer, 87,000 blood donors are invited to bring good habits to life

Montréal, Monday, June 6, 2005—Quebeckers are invited to generously donate blood between June 6 and September 4, 2005. This 13-week period will be crucial for maintaining the public blood supply at an acceptable level. We are expecting approximately 7,000 donors each week to make a gift of life at one of our blood drives or GLOBULE blood donor centres.

To meet the daily needs in blood components of patients in Québec hospitals, Héma-Québec hopes to welcome some 87,000 blood donors over the summer period. During this campaign that will be held under the theme “This summer, bring good habits to life,” the Héma-Québec team will travel around Québec to welcome donors to the 600 blood drives being organized by our community partners.

From left to right : Dr Francine Décary, Héma-Québec’s Chief Executive Officer, Christine Allard, a recipient who was received 15 blood transfusions after a heart transplant and Marie-Claude Rioux, blood donor.

“Donating blood during the summer period is a good habit to cultivate. Blood transfusion recipients will be able to reap the benefit of good health. In fact, donating blood all year long is the least complicated way of saving lives,” stated Dr. Francine Décary, Chief Executive Officer of Héma-Québec. She reminded the public that since platelets have a limited shelf life of five days, the challenge of maintaining the blood supply at an acceptable level is a daily one.

Moreover, the upper age limit for donating blood in Québec is eliminated. All healthy individuals who are at least 18 years old and meet Héma-Québec’s eligibility criteria can donate blood every 56 days, which is six times per year. For information about blood drive locations and times, call 1 800 847-2525 or consult Héma-Québec’s Web site at Remember that a simple gift of blood can help save up to four lives. There is no danger of contracting a disease by donating blood, as all of the materials used for blood collection are new, sterile and destroyed after use.

Héma-Québec also offers a telephone information service to those wishing to learn more about the impact of the West Nile Virus on blood. Simply call 1 877 VNO-HEMA (1 877 866-4362).

Since its inception in September 1998, Héma-Québec’s mission has been to efficiently provide adequate quantities of safe, optimal blood components, substitutes, human tissues and cord blood 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.

Give blood. Give life.