CBC Radio One listeners in Manitoba rolled up their sleeves and donated blood on Wednesday, helping Canadian Blood Services meet an urgent need for donations.

On Wednesday, CBC was at Canadian Blood Services in Winnipeg as people responded to its "blood signal" as part of National Blood Donor Week.

A total of 115 people donated blood, which staff say is more than what they see on an average day. Their goal was 96 people.

A Canadian Blood Services spokesperson said those 115 donations represent enough blood to help:

  • 57 patients undergoing brain surgery, or
  • 23 cancer patients, or
  • 23 heart surgery patients, or
  • Two people seriously injured in a collision, or
  • One leukemia patient through for 14 weeks of treatment.

Nearly 30 people donated in 90 minutes in the morning with many more lining up. They were treated to a pancake breakfast and many shared their stories with CBC Radio, explaining why they choose to give.

Those stories were heard throughout the day on Information Radio with Marcy Markusa, Radio Noon with Marilyn Maki, and Up to Speed with Larry Updike.

Blood donation facts

  • Most Manitobans have the A-positive blood type.
  • O-negative is the universal donor and can be given to anyone regardless of their blood type.
  • If you're AB-positive, you're lucky. As a universal recipient, you can be given any type of blood when you're in need.
  • It takes a finger prick and about three minutes to check your blood type.
  • Only 3.5 per cent of eligible Canadians donate blood, yet every day patients need more than 2,000 units of blood.
  • You have more than 10 pints of blood in your body.
  • The average patient needs about 4½ pints of blood.
  • When you donate one pint of your blood, it can help save a life and your body will regenerate that blood on its own.
  • Your plasma is replaced within hours, your platelets within days and your red blood cells in about 56 days.