Trauma centres need up to 50 units of fresh blood to save the life of a crash victim, say the Alberta Motor Association and Canadian Blood Services.
In a joint awareness event held in Red Deer on Thursday, the two organizations set up a wrecked car along with a stack of 50 units of fake blood to highlight two key messages they want to spread before the coming long weekend.
First, the AMA wants motorists to take special care when heading out on the highways during what promises to be a busy long weekend.
Second, CBS is encouraging people to donate blood to help save the lives of those people who do become victims of car crashes.
Building up stocks of freshly-donated blood is especially important immediately before and after a long weekend because the platelets have a very short shelf life, said La Reina Johnson, community development co-ordinator for CBS in Red Deer.
Red blood cells and plasma last up to seven weeks, but platelets are good for only five days, Johnson.