Canadian Blood Services

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Canadian Blood Services
Canadian Blood Services.svg
Canadian Blood Services, Head Office, Ottawa, ON.JPG
The Canadian Blood Services head office building in Ottawa, Ontario
Motto It's in you to give
Formation 1998; 20 years ago (1998)
Type Non-profit
Purpose To manage Canada's national supply of blood, blood products and stem cells, and related services for all the provinces and territories (excluding Quebec). They also lead an integrated, interprovincial system for organ donation and transplantation for all of Canada.
Headquarters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Region served
Chief executive
Graham D. Sher
~$5 million [1]

Canadian Blood Services is a national, nonprofit charitable organization that manages the blood supply in all provinces and territories of Canada, outside Quebec, and oversees the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network (formerly Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry) and is taking steps to increase transplant opportunities for patients by collecting and storing umbilical cord blood stem cells from Canadian donors. A separate organization, Héma-Québec, operates in the province of Quebec. A team of 4,300 staff and 17,000 volunteers help Canadian Blood Services operate 36 permanent collection sites, two bloodmobiles, eight OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network field sites and more than 22,000 donor clinics annually.[2] It was created in 1998 as a successor to the Canadian Red Cross blood program and the Canadian Blood Agency, on recommendation of the Krever Commission. It took over the responsibilities of Canadian blood systems starting from September 26, 1998.

Canadian Blood Services collects approximately 850,000 units of blood annually and processes it into the components and products that are administered to thousands of patients each year through blood transfusions.[citation needed] In addition to donating whole blood, some locations also offer platelets and blood plasma donations.[citation needed]

Canadian Blood Services is a quasi-non-government organization (QuaNGO) as 100% of its funding comes from the provincial and territorial ministries of health, provincial and territorial ministers of health appoint directors to its board, and its functions are regulated federally by Health Canada.[2]

On August 12, 2008, Canadian Blood Services announced that it would work with the Canadian Council for Donation and Transplantation to significantly improve organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Canada.[citation needed] Canadian Blood Services received government funding of $35 million over five years to proceed with this new mandate.[citation needed]

Canadian Blood Services is governed by an independent Board of Directors, who are recommended and appointed by provincial and territorial ministers of health. Current directors include: Leah Hollins (Chair), Robert H. Teskey, Reuven P. Bulka, Christopher Carruthers, R. Wayne Gladstone, Gary Glavin, Henry J. Pankratz, Elaine Sibson, Suromitra Sanatani, Dunbar Russel, Denis Losier, Mike Shaw, and Craig Knight. The Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Blood Services is Graham Sher, and the Chief Supply Chain Officer is Ian Mumford.[citation needed]

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.[3]

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.[4] The new policy came into effect on July 22, 2013.[5] 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.[6][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.[7]

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.[8][9]

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

External links[edit]