Blood, organ and tissue donation
Blood, organ and tissue donation improves health and saves lives. Many Canadians already donate, but the need for blood, organs and tissues remains high. You can help those in need. Learn more about blood, organ and tissue donation.
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COVID-19 and blood, organ and tissue donation
Donating blood in Canada remains safe. Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec have cleaning, infection-control and screening practices to protect all donors, staff, volunteers and recipients from COVID-19.
Blood donors should book and keep their appointments to prevent shortages. Everyday, health care providers need blood products to care for patients undergoing surgery or cancer treatments, and following traumas such as motor vehicle accidents. Patients continue to depend on these lifesaving donations.
Transplant program activities across the country continue to be performed, though at lower levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the need for organs and tissues remains. Please register to be a donor and share your decision with your family and friends.
To learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on blood, organ and tissue donation in Canada, please visit:
Health care providers across Canada can visit https://profedu.blood.ca/en/organs-and-tissues/covid-19-update-organ-donation-and-transplantation-services
You can book an appointment to donate blood in Canada in several ways:
If you live in Canada (outside of Quebec):
Book an appointment
Book an appointment online at blood.ca
Download the GiveBlood App from the Canadian Blood Services website
If you live in Quebec:
To book an appointment
Book an appointment online at Héma-Québec
The need for blood donation
In Canada, 52% of people say they have, or a family member has, needed blood or blood products at some point in their lives.
There is a constant demand for blood and blood products such as:
- blood plasma
- red blood cells
It takes many donors to save a patient's life. For example, it takes up to:
- 5 donors to save someone who needs heart surgery
- 50 donors to help save just 1 person seriously hurt in a car crash
- 8 donors a week to help someone going through treatment for leukemia
Donating organs and tissue
Less than one quarter of Canadians are registered donors. Depending on where you live, there are different ways to:
- indicate your intent to donate organs and tissues
- decide what organs and tissues you want to donate
Select your province from the list to register your intent to become a donor:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Health care providers will ask your family about donation before it happens so it's important they know your wishes. If you decide to become an organ and tissue donor, discuss it with your family and friends.
If you have questions about how donation affects your religious or spiritual practice, speak with your spiritual leader.
The need for organ and tissue donation
As our population ages, the need for organ and tissue donations keep increasing. As of December 31, 2019:
- 3,014 organs were transplanted
- 249 people died waiting for an organ transplant
- over 4,300 people were waiting for organ transplants
In the past 10 years, the number of people who have donated their organs after they have died has gone up by 42%. The number of people needing a transplant has also gone up in that time.
While most Canadians consent to donate after they die, it's possible to donate organs while you're still alive. Living donors who are the age of majority and in good health can donate:
- a kidney
- part of the liver
- a lobe of the lung
Register to donate and you could:
- save as many as 8 lives
- improve the quality of life for up to 75 people
- benefit countless families and loved ones of those in need
What we are doing in organ donation and transplantation
Learn more about what we are doing to help improve organ donation and transplantation in Canada thanks to the Organ Donation and Transplantation Collaborative.
- Canadian Blood Services (organ and tissue donation and transplantation program)
- Canadian Society for Transplantation
- Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program
- Canadian Institute for Health Information
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