Blood Donation Week

June 10, 2024 | CAA Niagara


Blood Donation Week

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The Lifesaving Power of Blood and Plasma Donations!

Blood Donation Week is here, and from June 10th to 14th, we are highlighting the critical importance of blood and plasma donations. These simple yet powerful acts can make the difference between life and death for countless individuals. By raising awareness and encouraging donations, we aim to save lives and support those in need. 

CAA Niagara Supporting Canadian Blood Services, One Donation at a Time  

CAA Niagara has a group of just over 30 life savers that donate plasma once a month! Group blood and plasma donations offer a multitude of benefits that go beyond individual contributions. They enhance community spirit and foster team building, making them particularly beneficial for workplaces, schools, and community groups by strengthening bonds and promoting a culture of collective responsibility. These group efforts raise greater awareness and encourage wider participation, making the donation process more convenient and less intimidating with familiar faces offering support. 

Why Blood and Plasma Donations Matter 

Every two seconds, someone in the world needs blood. This could be due to surgery, a traumatic injury, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, or other medical conditions. Blood and its components—red cells, white cells, platelets, and plasma—are essential for survival. 

  • Red Blood Cells: These are crucial for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and returning carbon dioxide back to the lungs for exhalation. 
  • White Blood Cells: Key players in the immune system, white blood cells help fight infections. 
  • Platelets: These small cell fragments are vital for blood clotting and wound healing. 
  • Plasma: The liquid part of the blood, plasma carries cells and proteins throughout the body and is essential for clotting and fighting diseases. 

The Plasma Donation Difference 

While whole blood donations are always needed, plasma donations are particularly important. Plasma, which is about 90% water and 10% essential proteins, supports patients suffering from burns, shock, trauma, and clotting disorders. Plasma is also used in treatments for immune deficiencies and other medical conditions. 

Donating plasma involves a process called plasmapheresis, where the plasma is separated from the blood and the remaining components are returned to the donor's body. This process takes a bit longer than whole blood donation but is equally vital. 

Who Can Donate? 

Most healthy individuals can donate blood and plasma. Here are some general guidelines: 

  • Age: Typically, donors must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent in some areas). 
  • Weight: Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds. 
  • Health: Donors should be in good health and feeling well on the day of donation. 
  • Frequency: Whole blood can be donated every 56 days, while plasma can be donated more frequently, up to twice a week. 

How to Prepare for Donation 

  1. Hydrate: Drink plenty of water before and after donating. 
  1. Eat Well: Have a healthy meal before donating, avoiding fatty foods which can affect the blood tests. 
  1. Rest: Make sure you get a good night's sleep before your donation. 
  1. Bring ID: A photo ID is usually required for donation. 

The Donation Process 

  1. Registration: Upon arrival, you'll register and provide basic information about yourself. 
  1. Health Screening: You'll undergo a brief health screening, including a questionnaire, a mini-physical, and a test for hemoglobin levels. 
  1. Donation: The donation itself typically takes about 10-15 minutes for whole blood and up to 90 minutes for plasma. 
  2. Refreshments: After donating, you'll rest and enjoy some light refreshments to help your body start recovering. 

Blood Donation Week is a time to recognize the heroes among us who donate blood and plasma, and to encourage others to join this lifesaving mission. By donating, you become a part of a vital community dedicated to giving the gift of life. Together, we can make a significant impact and save countless lives. 

Thank you for your generosity and commitment to helping others. Let’s make Blood Donation Week a success! Learn more at 


Tags: Community

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