Buffy coat component production method

Author: A project update from Susan Shimla, Buffy Coat Project Manager
Online publication date: January 2009

The Buffy Coat production method has been successfully implemented at eleven sites, Edmonton, British Columbia & Yukon, Central Ontario, Hamilton, Calgary, Halifax, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Ottawa, London and Winnipeg.

The last scheduled implementation occurred on November 28, 2008. All Canadian Blood Services sites, with the exception of Saskatchewan have converted to the new production method.

In the short term Saskatchewan will continue to produce an ongoing national supply of platelets made by the Platelet Rich Plasma method to provide a low volume platelet dose. A longer term solution, the splitting of apheresis platelets, will be investigated but is not expected to be implemented prior to March 2010.

The Buffy Coat project will officially end just prior to the end of the fiscal year with the transition of functions back into operations.

Canadian Blood Services is introducing a new method to produce platelets from whole blood collections called the Buffy Coat Component Production method. This method offers significant benefits for hospitals: a pooled, bacterially tested, ready-to-transfuse platelet concentrated with a higher yield of platelets, greater availability and a five-day shelf life.

This page summarizes the resources available on TransfusionMedicine.ca that will help you better understand this new production method. We welcome your questions and resource suggestions; please use the feedback button.

For a brief summary of changes and components, visit:

  • Changes Affecting Hospitals and Patients Following the Implementation of Buffy Coat Production Method
  • Amendments 1 and 2 from the 2005 CBS Circular of Information, which lists additional information for red blood cell products manufactured by the Buffy Coat Production method.

Training resources for nurses and paramedicals

For nurses and other paramedical personnel in Canadian Hospitals where the method is being introduced, we offer the following training resources: