The Screening Process
The screening process is as follows:
- The donor registers by providing proof of identity, such as a valid driver’s license or a Canadian Blood Services blood donor card. A Canadian Blood Services employee imprints the donor’s identification on a Record of Donation, which follows the donor and his/her donation throughout the process.
- A qualified Canadian Blood Services employee pricks the donor’s finger to test a drop of blood. The test indicates whether the donor’s hemoglobin (blood iron level) is adequate to make a donation.
- The donor must read the pamphlet Making a Blood or Apheresis Donation: What You Must Know. This provides general information on high risk activities, the donation process and providing post-donation information to Canadian Blood Services.
- The donor answers questions 1 to 13 on the Record of Donation.
- A qualified Canadian Blood Services employee measures the donor’s blood pressure and temperature. The employee also checks the donor’s arms for signs of intravenous drug use.
- In a private screening booth, the Canadian Blood Services screening employee reviews questions 1 to 13 and asks questions 14 to 29 aloud, recording the donor’s answers on the Record of Donation.
- If the test results or interview answers indicate a deferral is necessary, the employee explains this and the process ends.
- The donor signs and dates an informed consent form on the Record of Donation, saying that they have answered all questions truthfully.
- The Canadian Blood Services screening employee instructs the donor on the use of the Confidential Unit Exclusion label. This procedure allows the donor one last chance, with complete confidentiality, to say that his/her blood should not be used. Because of the personal nature of the screening questions, it is possible that some donors may not answer truthfully. In other cases, donors might be reluctant to admit — especially before colleagues, friends or family — why they were deferred, and thus continue with the donation to avoid answering uncomfortable questions.
- To guard against such situations, the screening Canadian Blood Services employee gives the donor two bar-coded labels, then leaves the room to ensure complete privacy for the donor.
- One bar code indicates “Yes, use my blood,” the other “No, do not use my blood.” The donor chooses the appropriate sticker and places it in the space provided on the Record of Donation. Only later, in the laboratory, will a technician scan the label with a bar code reader before the unit is processed to determine whether or not it may be used.