Blood, organ and tissue donation
Half of all Canadians are fit to donate blood, but only 1 in 60 Canadians gave blood last year. Our organ donation rates are also lower than many countries, including the United States.
On this page
- Donate blood
- Become an organ and tissue donor
- The need for donors in Canada
Follow the conversation on Twitter at #GiftOfLlife
You can book an appointment to donate blood in Canada in several ways:
If you live in Canada (outside of Quebec):
Book an appointment
If you live in Quebec:
To book an appointment
Become an organ and tissue donor
Only a fraction of Canadians are registered donors. Depending on where you live, there are different ways to register and decide what you want to donate.
Select your province from the list to register and donate:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador (coordinated by Eastern Health)
- Northwest Territories (coordinated by Alberta)
- Nova Scotia
- Nunavut (coordinated by Alberta)
- Prince Edward Island
Loved ones are always asked before donation happens, so it is important that 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 donors in Canada
In Canada, 52% of people say they or a family member have needed blood or blood products at some point in their lives. Our country also needs organ and tissue donors, but not enough Canadians have made plans to donate.
The need for blood donation
There is a constant demand for blood and blood products such as:
- blood plasma
- red blood cells
It takes many donors to help save a hospital patient. 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
The need for organ and tissue donation
As our population ages, the need for organ and tissue donations will increase. In 2016, for example:
over 4,500 people were waiting for organ transplants
2,835 organs were transplanted
260 people died waiting for a transplant
In the past 10 years, the number of deceased organ donors 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 death, it is also 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
Learn more about what the Government of Canada is doing to help improve the organ donation and transplantation ecosystem in Canada.
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