Canadian blood services in talks over paid plasma donations as supplies dwindle

Canadian blood services are in talks with companies to pay plasma donors as they face a decline in collections.

The blood collection agency released a statement on Friday saying it was “in ongoing discussions with the government and the commercial plasma industry” on how to double domestic plasma collection to 50% of its supply.

The Canadian Blood Service had previously warned of allowing businesses to trade plasma for cash, which is prohibited in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.

The majority of nonprofit supplies now come from abroad, including through organizations that pay donors.

Donors book and make appointments, noting that collections have declined since July 1, despite the constant need for plasma transfusions for surgeries, cancer patients, and accident victims I issued a petition earlier this week.

The number of regular blood donors fell by 31,000 during the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the organization’s blood donor count to its lowest in a decade, the report said.

The FDA has opened five new plasma donor centers in recent years and aims to open six more by 2024, drawing 25% of the supply from Canadian donors.

“But we are only halfway there. Much more needs to be done,” said the Canadian Blood Service in a statement.

Working with private partners could be one way to reach the 50% threshold.

“The options considered should necessarily include controls to ensure that plasma collected in Canada is only used to manufacture immunoglobulins for Canadian patients. We must ensure that the service’s current and future blood and plasma collection networks are not adversely affected,” the agency said.

Prefectures have jurisdiction over whether or not to allow paid donations. However, plasma protein products, mainly immunoglobulins that contain antibodies against disease, must get a green light from Health Canada before going to the hospital.

Health Canada, which oversees the country’s blood system, previously said Canada Blood Services and Héma Quebec were the two organizations approved to distribute these products. Any path to be through them will require a commercial contract.

The Canadian Blood Service said Monday it had only four days’ supply of O+ blood types and five days’ supply of O- and B- blood types.

Type O is most commonly used for transfusions during trauma and emergency surgery because anyone can receive red blood cells. The O+ blood type is also in high demand because it is compatible with other positive red blood cells.

Spokesperson Delphine Denis said at the time that ongoing illness and isolation requirements related to COVID-19, heat-related weather issues, pre-pandemic activities and the resumption of summer travel meant many people He said it was all because he had less time to donate. shortage.

The agency said it has 57,000 vacancies across Canada that need to be filled by the end of August.

Canadian Blood Services maintains a nationwide inventory that allows for regular movement of product throughout the country to meet hospital and patient needs.

However, stock has a shelf life of 1 year for frozen plasma, 42 days for red blood cells, and 5 days for platelets.

About 400,000 Canadians regularly donated blood before the pandemic, the agency said.

Christopher Reynolds

canadian press