There’s been a national “spike” in donations of blood in the wake of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan that left 16 people dead and 13 others injured, the Canadian Blood Services said Thursday.
Several cities in Western Canada have seen donation increases of about 25 per cent above their averages, including Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton, while at least one clinic in Saskatchewan had a 50 per cent increase, said spokesman Hailu Mulatu.
“We have received so many requests from so many people and organizations reaching out to us about what they can do, interest in organizing a blood drive at their site or coming as a group to donate,” said Mulatu, adding donations were also up about 10 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area.
“Overall we can say at the national level we have seen a spike.”
On Wednesday, Luke Jackiw of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health said the province had received thousands of requests for stickers that residents can apply to their health card to indicate they’d like to donate their organs.
He said the phones were “ringing off the hook” and attributed the response to the story of 21-year-old defenceman Logan Boulet of Lethbridge, Alta., who was on life support after the crash until his organs could be donated.
“There’s been an overwhelming number of calls … (from) individuals to register their intent to donate organs,” Jackiw said, but added that Saskatchewan does not have an organ donation registry — the stickers are used to convey a will to be a donor, but consent from family or a next-of-kin is still needed when end-of-life decisions are made.
“The important thing you can do, as Logan did, is talk to your family and let them know what your wishes are.”
Canadians have also opened their wallets to help support the families of the victims of last Friday’s crash, which occurred outside Tisdale, Sask.
Over $9.4 million has been pledged to a GoFundMe campaign, which the crowdfunding website says is the largest ever in Canada.
More than 100,000 donors in 65 countries have contributed to the campaign — ranked among the five most successful campaigns ever on the platform — with donations ranging from $5 to $50,000 coming from individuals, families, sports teams and multinational corporations.
The Canadian Press