As Manitobans gear up for the May-long weekend, Canadian Blood Services is hoping to fill appointments and help save lives with the growing need. 

"After you donate blood it goes to our lab where it's processed," says Brett Lawrence, the Community Development Manager with Blood Services in Winnipeg. "We can use three parts of the blood you donate; red blood cells, the platelets, and the plasma. Those three are separated and sent to the hospitals."

Essentially, when a person donates blood, their donation can help save up to three lives. 

"Those products can be used for someone undergoing cancer treatments. A person undergoing a Leukemia treatment could use up to eight units of blood a week. Platelets are used to treat bleeding disorders. Outside of cancer treatment, it can be used for surgery or someone in a car accident."


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First-time do's and don'ts

While there are some mobile blood donation sites across Manitoba, the Canadian Blood Services centre is located at 777 William Avenue in Winnipeg and they offer free parking. 

"By the time you walk in the doors and walk out, it should only take about an hour of your time. I think going with other people makes the donation experience much more enjoyable, especially if it's your first time donating."

There are a few things people should keep in mind before they donate to make sure things flow smoothly.

"I find that if you are hydrating 24 hours before your appointment, having a big meal before, as well as focus on electrolyte-rich food and drinks, I find it makes a big difference pre-donation." 

After donating, a person will have one pint less of blood in their body. 

"After, make sure you rehydrate to get those fluids back, as well as getting those electrolytes back. Having the salty snacks that are at our centre and taking it easy for the rest of the day. Doing all that, you should have a great donation experience."

To book an appointment at 777 William Avenue people can simply go to