Thursday, January 27, 2011

Report Card on Canada's Blood System

So, Today the report on Canada's blood system was released. Some parts are quite concerning to me since I used Fresh Frozen Plasma all the time.
There are some points I will be discussing with my doctor but for now I would like to share the report with you and see what you think. For the full report visit




Montreal – January 27, 2011 – The 2008-2010 report on Canada’s blood

system, prepared by the Canadian Hemophilia Society (CHS), has found that

blood, blood products and their alternatives are very safe and in sufficient

supply; however, the system’s accountability to recipients has taken a giant

step backwards.

According to Canadian Blood Services (CBS) by-laws, and following

recommendations of the 1997 Krever Report on Canada’s Blood System, two of

the 12 CBS Board positions are reserved for persons with “relevant knowledge

or experience with organizations representing persons consuming blood and

blood products.” Over the last decade, almost all of these positions have been

held by individuals with very close links to recipient organizations and

extensive knowledge of safety and supply issues. However, during the 2009

and 2010 Board renewal process, the Members of CBS, the provincial/territorial

Ministers of Health (except Quebec), named both “public directors” with no

apparent links to recipient organizations and little knowledge of key issues from

a recipient perspective. A number of recipient organizations have denounced

the selection process as lacking transparency and resulting in the exclusion of

an effective recipient voice at the top level of decision-making at CBS… to no

avail. David Page, CHS national executive director, said, “Members of recipient

organizations see their exclusion as a clear contravention of CBS’ own by-laws,

and a giant step backwards in accountability.

Meanwhile, Héma-Québec has maintained Board positions for individuals with a

recipient organization perspective.

On a more positive note, the report finds that CBS, Héma-Québec and Health

Canada (the regulator of the blood system) have maintained a clear focus on

safety. Blood and blood products are safer today than at any time in the past.

The provinces and territories continue to fund the suppliers of blood, blood

products and their alternatives in such a way that they can provide life-saving

products to Canadians in sufficient supply… with one exception. Solventdetergent

treated plasma (SD-plasma) is still unavailable, despite licensure by

Health Canada in 2006, a lower risk of blood-borne pathogens and adverse

reactions compared to fresh frozen plasma, and the fact that SD-plasma is the

standard of care in many European countries.

The September 2010 decision by Justice Aitken of the Ontario Superior Court in

the case of CBS vs. Freeman was welcomed by recipient organizations. The

judgment found that current donor deferral criteria for men who have had sex

with men are not discriminatory. As a result, decisions on screening procedures

will continue to be made on the basis of the latest science and epidemiology.

The period covered by this report also saw the adoption of legislation in

Quebec to provide no-fault compensation in the event that persons are injured

by blood or blood products. Such a measure was the first recommendation of

the Krever Commission. The other provinces and territories are relying on CBS’

self-insurance scheme to provide compensation in the event of another tainted

blood tragedy.

Unfortunately, the last three years have seen little progress in the development

of a national Orphan Drug Policy that would facilitate the licensure and

availability of therapies for rare diseases. Canada is the only highly developed

nation without such a policy.

In addition, the Public Health Agency of Canada has, without notice or

explanation, stopped funding the Blood-Borne Pathogen Surveillance Project at

the University of Alberta. This bank of blood samples from frequently transfused

individuals is critical to effective monitoring of emerging pathogens in the blood


The 2008-2010 Report on Canada’s Blood System is the fifth to be released

since the reform of the blood system in 1998 following the Krever Commission.

In its preparation, the Canadian Hemophilia Society sought input from recipient

organizations, Health Canada, manufacturers of fresh blood components,

Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec. The 2008-2010 report card and

the four previous report cards can be found on the CHS Web site at in the Safe, Secure Blood Supply section.


Founded in 1953, the Canadian Hemophilia Society (CHS) is a national

voluntary health charity. Its mission is to improve the health and quality of life

of all people with inherited bleeding disorders and ultimately to find a cure. Its

vision is a world free from the pain and suffering of inherited bleeding


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  1. well... as of now, FFP has little recorded problems, especially under the current safety standards. But SD-Plasma will be quite better.

  2. Yes I know! thats sort of how I feel! I'vebeen getting FFP for 27 years so why stop now?? but if it is safer then I would of course take it!