With great pleasure we present the new online edition of the Canadian Blood Services’ Clinical Guide to Transfusion. This Guide is an educational resource for health care workers on the provision of blood products and transfusion medicine services in Canada.
“Paying it Forward: Why we need YOU to give blood" is an article by Dr. Jeannie Callum, a hospital-based transfusion specialist. Here she shares her real-life experience witnessing the impact of blood donation on patient lives. She provides some fascinating insight into blood transfusion, past and present, and emphasizes the need for male donors and why some donors may be safer for patients. This article is also being published in six parts on RED, our Research, Education and Discovery blog.
Decisions about blood safety need to take numerous factors into account, such as risks, benefits, costs, ethical issues, and stakeholder perspectives.
ABO has developed a unique framework to help blood service operators streamline the process and make responsible decisions that lead to the greatest good. Whether the blood safety decision to be made is small or large in scale, this framework can help to organize the process and to assure the quality of the information used to make the decision.
Current recommendations of the NAC indicate that the provision of CMV-seronegative and leukoreduced blood products is potentially required only in the setting of intrauterine transfusion. In October 2017, Canadian Blood Services will stop the testing donor blood for anti-CMV antibodies except for a small inventory of blood components tested for the sole purpose of intrauterine transfusion.
Our goal is to share best practices with hospitals and health-care providers to optimize patient care and the utilization of blood products. Articles in this section are related to serological and immunohematology investigations and the selection of donor units for transfusion.
Molecular immunohematology refers to the detection of the molecular genetic basis of an antigen, rather than the antigen alone. Use of molecular testing in clinical laboratories requires knowledge of the molecular basis of blood group antigens and the availability of suitable genotyping methods that can be used in our testing environment.
Modified or specialty blood components may be useful in specific clinical settings to reduce the risk of transfusion-related harm. Specialty blood products available to physicians include CMV-seronegative, irradiated, and washed red blood cells or platelets. This chapter describes the preparation of these blood components and the clinical setting in which they are of greatest benefit.