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. The authors are experts in their fields. They provide an excellent and practical summary of our current knowledge of blood components and transfusion medicine practices.

This edition evolved from the original print version first published by the Canadian Red Cross Society with Anita Ali as editor. The 2006 edition, edited by Gwen Clarke and Morris Blajchman, was the first to be published online as well as in print.

Today, chapters are updated regularly to reflect the evolution of transfusion medicine practices. We hope you find this Guide clear and useful. Above all, we trust it will continue to help increase safety for those Canadians who require blood products and instill confidence in those who provide services. Enjoy!

Gwen Clarke, MD FRCPC and Sophie Chargé, PhD
Editors of the Clinical Guide to Transfusion online edition. 

Important disclaimer: This material is an educational tool providing guidelines for the care of patients. These recommendations should thus not be applied rigidly, since they could result in some patients receiving unnecessary transfusions or experiencing adverse effects from under-transfusion. The guidelines are mainly for adult patients and may not necessarily apply to the treatment of children. The recommendations do not replace the need in some cases to consult an expert in Transfusion Medicine to provide optimal patient care. 

Your feedback is important to us.

Chapter 1

Vein to Vein: A Summary of the Blood System in Canada

Jan 17, 2019

Chapter 2

Blood Components

Sep 8, 2017

Chapter 3


Jun 4, 2018

Chapter 4

Immune Globulin Products

Aug 10, 2018

Chapter 5

Concentrates for Hemostatic Disorders and Hereditary Angioedema

Aug 24, 2018

Chapter 6

Donor Selection, Donor Testing and Pathogen Reduction

Aug 8, 2019

Chapter 7

Fractionated Blood Products and Associated Pathogen Safety

Sep 10, 2019

Chapter 8

Pre-transfusion Testing

Jul 13, 2020

Chapter 9

Blood Administration

Oct 6, 2020

Chapter 10

Adverse Reactions

Mar 27, 2017

Chapter 11

Massive Hemorrhage and Emergency Transfusion

Jul 24, 2017

Chapter 12

Hemolytic Disease of the Fetus and Newborn and Perinatal Immune Thrombocytopenia

Jul 20, 2018

Chapter 13

Neonatal and Pediatric Transfusion

Aug 2, 2017

Chapter 14

Therapeutic Apheresis

Aug 1, 2018

Chapter 15

CMV Seronegative, Irradiated and Washed Blood Components

Aug 4, 2017

Chapter 16

Preoperative Autologous Donation

May 31, 2017

Chapter 17

Hemostatic Disorders and Hereditary Angioedema

Aug 17, 2018

Chapter 18

Platelet Transfusion, Alloimmunization and Management of Platelet Refractoriness

Aug 16, 2018