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A blood bag with donated blood
June 12, 2018

Giving life to our patients

At Hamilton Health Sciences, we use more than 27,000 units of blood each year to care for patients and save lives.

Lives like 9-year old Angelica, who needs a blood transfusion every two weeks to treat her condition, Thalassemia. It’s an inherited blood disorder that causes her red blood cells to function improperly and die. Because Angelica has fewer healthy cells traveling throughout her bloodstream, she needs transfusions of donated blood to survive. She has been getting blood transfusions since she was in her mother’s womb.

“Angelica is considered a high user patient since her condition will require life long blood transfusions,” says Jennifer Wolfenden, one of Angelica’s nurses at McMaster Children’s Hospital. “She cannot live without them.”

Despite this, Angelica is outgoing and active. So much so that people are surprised to learn she has a medical condition. On top of it all, she keeps a positive outlook on her regular hospital visits, understanding the importance of her blood transfusions.

As Angelica puts it, “I need blood to live.”

Angelica is just one example of the crucial role of blood donations for our patients. While the care we provide improves and saves patients’ lives, we can’t do it without blood donors.

About donating blood

Donating blood can save a life – for cancer patients, trauma patients, transplant recipients, and others. Half of all Canadians will either need blood themselves or know someone who does. Learn about eligibility to donate and what to expect throughout the process through Canadian Blood Services.