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Available Expert - Canadian Blood Services changes blood donation guidelines

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Queen’s University hematologist Paula James is available to comment on new guidelines released today by Canadian Blood Services. The guidelines, limiting the number of times female donors can donate in a year, has the agency scrambling to find new donors.

The new rules mean that female donors are now required to wait 12 weeks or 84 days between donations, as opposed to the previous eight weeks or 56 days.

"In the interest of donor health, Canadian Blood Services took a careful look at the impact of blood donations on the development of iron deficiency, which can lead to anemia,” says Dr. James. “They found that female donors, in particular, were becoming iron deficient as a result of too frequent blood donations, and so have increased the wait time between donations. This is critically important as females are at higher risk of iron deficiency because of menstruation. I applaud the CBD for their efforts, but it means new donors must come forward to maintain an adequate blood supply in Canada.”

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) or Chris Armes (613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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