More women needed to donate as Canadian Blood Services changes guidelines

Attention, Calgary women: Can you donate blood? Canadian Blood Services says it needs more female donors now that the organization has changed its criteria on how often women can donate.

Women now encouraged to donate every 84 days instead of every 56

More female blood donors are needed now that Canadian Blood Services has changed the frequency with which women are allowed to donate. Here, first responders donate blood on Wednesday during Calgary's annual Sirens for Life donation campaign. (CBC)

Attention, Calgary women: Can you donate blood? Canadian Blood Services says it needs more female donors now that the organization has changed its criteria on how often women can donate blood.

At a donation drive held in Calgary on Wednesday, the organization said the changes — which took effect last month — encourage women to donate every 84 days instead of every 56 days.

Judy Jones, an associate director with Canadian Blood Services, said the change will help women who donate blood better maintain their iron levels. 

"We just want to make sure that we're keeping an eye on females that donate, ... their actual health," said Jones, speaking at Calgary's annual Sirens for Life campaign as the city's first responders lined up to donate blood.

The change does not apply to male donors.

Canadian Blood Services says male donors can maintain safe levels of iron when donating every 56 days.

With files from Justin Pennell