“I saved a life today.” How often do you get to say that? If you aren’t a medical professional or a superhero, the answer most likely is “rarely.” But it does not necessarily have to be that way. You can save lives and give back to the community simply by booking an appointment at Canadian Blood Services’ (CBS) Surrey centre and donating blood.

We get it, blood donation could sound a bit intimidating, especially if it’s your first time. We know ‘cause well, been there done that. But the folks at CBS filled us in on some facts that not only upped our knowledge but also took the intimidation out of the picture.

Below are 8 facts that might surprise and nudge you to donate RN.

#1 100,000 donors are needed each year

That is not a cooked-up figure. According to the Canadian Blood Services, 100,000 new donors are needed each year to meet the need and make up for those who cannot donate anymore. New donors are needed now more than ever since COVID brought the number of donors further down.

#2 The actual donation process only takes 10-15 minutes and it’s painless

While it takes an hour to fill out paperwork, rest and enjoy refreshments- the actual procedure is performed by skilled, specifically trained donor staff and only takes about 10-15 minutes. Oh, and in case you were wondering, they’ll make sure you’re as comfortable as possible to ensure that it’s painless.

#3 You can donate blood even if you have contracted the virus in the past or taken a vaccination

Being vaccinated or having contracted the virus previously does not make you an unworthy donor. So yes, you can still donate. If you have recently contracted the virus though, you will need to wait 14-21 days, depending on whether you exhibited symptoms or not. You can read up more about the COVID updates here.

#4 All donors must meet a certain eligibility criteria

To maintain donor health and safety, Canadian Blood Services ensures that the eligibility criteria are strictly adhered to. This includes age, weight, height, allergies and several others. If you do not meet the criteria, you can always revisit after a certain period unless advised otherwise. For more info on eligibility, you can read up more about it here.

#5 Knowing your blood type is important

As is common knowledge, there are four different blood types- A, B, AB and O. Each is further categorized as positive or negative. But you won’t need to worry about knowing your blood type prior to donating blood- you’ll be able to find out after you’ve donated. So if you ever need to receive blood, it’ll come in handy. If you’re curious about the blood types, you can get more deets here.

#6 O-negative blood type is “liquid gold” (as a CBS blog puts it)

If you were curious enough to have gone and read the aforementioned blood types, you would have understood that O-negative is a blood type that’s always in demand. This is for the simple fact that this blood type can be infused in anyone. In case of emergencies, when there isn’t enough time to identify a patient’s blood type, O-negative can save their life.

Image via Canadian Blood Services

#7 There are other ways you can help donate

In addition to giving blood, there are many other ways you can help the Canadian Blood Services. Whether it’s by volunteering your time, giving a one-time or recurring financial donation, organizing group donations in collaboration with other organizations or communities, or even helping sponsor a donation event! 

Feeling better about donating? Well, the Surrey centre has opened up even more appointments. You can book a slot for yourself or your friends and family here. We’ll see you there!