Blood Donation, Your Blood is Needed
Do you know your blood type?
What’s my blood type? Understanding your blood type
Everyone has a type. You belong to one of four: O, A, B and AB. An additional factor — the ‘Rh factor’ — determines whether your type is positive or negative. Knowing your blood type is important not only because it determines who you can donate blood to but also who you can receive blood from.
A-positive blood is the second most common blood type in Canada — 36% of Canadians share this blood type. Patients who are A-positive and AB-positive can receive A-positive red blood cells and platelets. Maintaining an adequate supply is crucial.
A-negative blood is one of the rarer blood types — only 6% of Canadians share this blood type. A-negative blood type contains red blood cells that can be used to save patients with A-negative, A-positive, AB-negative and AB-positive blood types — almost half of all Canadians.
B-positive blood cells can be given to B-positive and AB-positive patients. This blood type is the third most recurring blood type in Canada — only 7.6% of Canadians share this blood type. B-negative blood holds tremendous power — only 1.4% of Canadians share this blood type.
B-negative blood cells can be used to help patients with B-negative, B-positive. AB-negative and AB positive blood types — nearly 12% of the population.
AB-positive blood patients can receive red blood cells from donors with any blood type and 2.5% of Canadians share this blood type. Donors who are AB-positive are considered the universal plasma donors because this blood component can be transfused to any patient, regardless of their blood type.
AB-negative blood can receive red blood cells from donors with any other Rh negative blood type — only 0.5% of Canadians share this blood type. Donors who are AB-negative are the universal platelet and plasma donors because these blood components can be transfused to any patient.
O-positive blood cells can be used to treat any patient with a positive Rh blood type, which makes a measurable difference in emergency situations. This is the most common blood type in Canada — 39% of Canadians share this blood type.
O-negative blood cells are compatible with all other blood types. This means that in critical emergencies — when there is no time to
confirm a patient’s blood type — O-negative blood can make a lifesaving difference. Only 7% share this blood type — a small percentage with a huge impact. ◆
RARE BLOOD PROGRAM
Did you know that some people’s blood is rarer than others? It’s not just about being type A, B, O or AB. On the surface of our red blood
cells are proteins called antigens. There are more than 600 known antigens — and some combinations of antigens are far less common than others.
Whenever a blood transfusion is required, time is of the essence. But if someone in need has a rare blood type, finding a matching donor can be hard. Through our rare blood program, we make sure lifesaving rare blood is available to patients whenever and wherever it’s needed. To deliver on that promise, we need everyone with rare blood to donate regularly.
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Depression wasn’t some outside force hounding and terrorizing me. It was part of me. And when I accepted that, it gave me more control and understanding. My choices, my reactions, and my emotions were mine.
My opportunity came when a chance meeting with a young doctor gave me the foothold I needed to create an upward spiral that undoubtedly saved my life.
And the dogs? I think of them more like the “Black Cats of Depression.” I’ve learned how to co-exist with them. They come and go as they please, I don’t provoke them, and if they curl up on my lap, they tell me I need to take a break. Then they usually want to play.
That’s where the laughter comes in.
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