Canadian Blood Services

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Canadian Blood Services
Canadian Blood Services logo.svg
Canadian Blood Services, Head Office, Ottawa, ON.JPG
The Canadian Blood Services head office building in Ottawa, Ontario
MottoTogether, we are Canada’s lifeline.
Formation1998; 21 years ago (1998)
PurposeTo provide lifesaving products and services in transfusion and transplantation for Canadian patients, and to safeguard Canada's systems of life essentials in blood, plasma, stem cells, and organs and tissues.
HeadquartersOttawa, Ontario, Canada
Region served
Chief executive
Graham D. Sher
~$5 million [1]

Canadian Blood Services is a not-for-profit charitable organization that operates independently from government. Created through a memorandum of understanding between the federal, provincial and territorial governments, it opened its doors in 1998. Its funding comes primarily from provincial and territorial governments.

Canadian Blood Services is one part of Canada’s broader network of health-care systems, and the only national manufacturer of biological products funded by Canada’s provincial and territorial governments. It provides blood and blood products, as well as transfusion and stem cell registry services, on behalf of all provincial and territorial governments except Quebec. Its national transplant registry for interprovincial organ sharing and related programs extend to all provinces and territories.

It has a unique relationship with Héma-Québec, the provincial blood system operator that provides products to patients and manages Quebec’s stem cell donor registry. The two organizations work closely to share blood products in times of need, and collaborate regularly to share information, insights and data.

There are several reasons why individuals can be deferred from donating blood, including intravenous drug use, living in the UK for certain periods of time, coming from an HIV-endemic country, as well HIV high risk activity.[2]

Blood donation from men who have had sex with men[edit]

On May 22, 2013, Canadian Blood Services announced that the deferral period as prescribed and enforced by Health Canada for men who have had sex with men (MSM) would be decreased from a ban for "even once since 1977" to "five years from last MSM [sexual] activity" by the summer of 2013.[3] The new policy came into effect on July 22, 2013.[4] In June 2016, Canadian Blood services announced that Health Canada had approved its request to shorten the MSM ban from five years to one year, with this policy change to take effect on August 15, 2016.[5][needs update]

As of August 2016 Canada's policies are now in line with countries such as Britain, who allow MSM donations after a 12-month deferral period.[6]

Blood donation from transgender people[edit]

On August 15, 2016 Canadian Blood Services' new eligibility criteria for transgender people came into effect. This criteria states that transgender donors who have not had lower gender affirming surgery will be asked questions based on their sex assigned at birth. They will be eligible to donate or be deferred based on these criteria. For example, trans women will be asked if they have had had sex with a man in the last 12 months. If the response is yes, they will be deferred for one year after their last sexual contact with a man. And donors who have had lower gender affirming surgery will be deferred from donating blood for one year after their surgery. After that year, these donors will be screened in their affirmed gender.[7][8]

Blood collection services offered[edit]

Canadian Blood Services collection services vary across Canada but typical services include: whole blood collection, plasmapheresis, plateletpheresis, and stem cell and bone marrow collection and matching.[citation needed]

Whole blood collection is the shortest process of those listed above and at over 850,000 units collected per year, is the primary blood collection service offered by Canadian Blood Services.[9] 488 mL (1 United States liquid pint) of blood is collected during a blood donation. For a typical donor this represents about ten percent of their total blood supply.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Canadian Blood Services" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-03-11.
  2. ^ "Canadian Blood Services - Indefinite Deferrals - HIV High Risk Activities". Retrieved 2012-03-16.
  3. ^ "Changes to blood donor guidelines". Canadian Blood Services. 22 May 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-03-19. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  4. ^ Sieczkowski, Cavan (22 May 2013). "Canada Lifts Blood Donation Ban On Gay Men". Huffington Post.
  5. ^ "Blood Ban For Gay Donors Eased, But Not As Much As Pledged". Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  6. ^ "Deferral of Men who have Sex with Men from Blood Donation". NHS Blood and Transplant. National Health Service. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
  7. ^ "Eligibility criteria for trans individuals". Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Canadian Blood Services places restrictions on transgender donors". Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Canadian Blood Services - Blood Donation". Archived from the original on 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2009-03-10.

External links[edit]