In August 2017, Canadian Blood Services changed its platelet product testing procedure to improve the detection of bacterial contamination. This change enhanced the safety of Canadian Blood Services platelet products and provided the opportunity to improve inventory management by extending the platelet shelf life from five to seven days.
We are pleased to provide on a regular basis a Surveillance Report describing infectious disease surveillance that our stakeholders can consult to make evidence-based decisions.
High quality and timely surveillance is key to the safety of the blood supply. This includes monitoring of transmissible disease markers that the blood is tested for (including bacteria), investigation of any reports of possible transfusion transmission, as well as a horizon scan for any new pathogens that may pose a risk now or in the future.
“Paying it Forward: Why we need YOU to give blood" is an article by Dr. Jeannie Callum, a hospital-based transfusion specialist. Here she shares her real-life experience witnessing the impact of blood donation on patient lives. She provides some fascinating insight into blood transfusion, past and present, and emphasizes the need for male donors and why some donors may be safer for patients. This article is also being published in six parts on RED, our Research, Education and Discovery blog.
Current recommendations of the NAC indicate that the provision of CMV-seronegative and leukoreduced blood products is potentially required only in the setting of intrauterine transfusion. In October 2017, Canadian Blood Services will stop the testing donor blood for anti-CMV antibodies except for a small inventory of blood components tested for the sole purpose of intrauterine transfusion.
A very small percentage of red blood cell units are manufactured from blood donors with red cell antibodies. These donors may have antibodies directed against common non-ABO antigens detected during routine screening or may represent a rare blood donor with the corresponding antibody.