For transfusion directly into patients in hospitals; or,
For manufacturing into specialized medications called plasma protein products. Immunoglobulins, albumin and coagulating factors are examples of these medications.
For plasma transfusion, Canadian Blood Services collects and manufactures enough plasma to meet one hundred per cent of the needs of hospitals and patients.
Manufacturing plasma protein products like immunoglobulins, however, requires many thousands of plasma donations. To meet the needs of hospitals and patients in Canada, we:
Collect plasma to ship to specialized pharmaceutical companies who use the proteins in plasma to manufacture plasma protein products for use exclusively in Canada. These medications are licensed by Health Canada and returned to Canadian Blood Services for shipping to the hospitals and clinics we serve.
Bulk purchase additional plasma protein products which are manufactured by the global biologics industry using plasma they have collected themselves. We supply these and other related products, which we have also purchased on the global market, to hospitals for patients across the country.
In recent years we have been seeing a steady increase worldwide in the need for plasma to make specific kinds of plasma protein products called immunoglobulins — primarily due to the growing number of conditions that are treated with these medications.
Currently, there is a global shortage of plasma to manufacture immunoglobulins, making it essential that blood systems around the world increase their plasma collections substantially.
In 2019, Canadian Blood Services announced plans to increase plasma collection in Canada. We are enhancing our plasma collection programs at our existing blood donor centres as well as opening new dedicated plasma donor centres. We now operate dedicated plasma donor centres in Kelowna, B.C.; Lethbridge, Alta.; and Sudbury, Ont., with two more new plasma donor centres opening in Brampton and Ottawa, Ont. in Spring 2022.
What is plasma sufficiency?
Plasma sufficiency is the percentage of plasma collected by Canadian Blood Services, as the accountable national blood operator, to manufacture immunoglobulins exclusively for patients in Canada. Learn more about plasma sufficiency and how we manage risk at plasma and the blood system supply chain.