Our Research, Education, and Discovery Blog is a showcase for our work as well as the basic science behind what we do. Here we invite readers to explore the worlds of transfusion and transplantation science and learn more about how our research leads to improved everyday practices and ultimately – and most importantly – better outcomes for patients.
Canadian Blood Services recently published its annual Surveillance Report, a summary of monitoring efforts related to transmissible infection testing in donors; possible transfusion-transmitted infections in recipients; and new, emerging pathogens. Surveillance also includes monitoring of donor safety.
At the start of the pandemic, convalescent plasma was seen as potential therapy for treating COVID-19. But now, an international team led by Canadian scientists has published results from the largest clinical trial on convalescent plasma and COVID-19, showing it is not effective as a treatment against COVID-19.
Transfusions can be a life-saving treatment for people living with sickle cell disease but finding compatible blood can be a challenge because Black and racialized donors—the ones with the best potential to match most SCD patients— are underrepresented in the donor pool. Read about initiatives that can support this patient group by improving the red blood cell inventory.
Dr. Edward M. Conway’s 11-year tenure as director of the Centre for Blood Research was characterized by boundless energy and enthusiasm. A virtual symposium in April 2021 brought together researchers from Canada and the United States to pay tribute to Conway’s leadership and his contributions to blood research.
For the second year, the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) offered their annual congress online. In June 2021, the virtual “ISBT In Focus” explored the latest in transfusion medicine and science, immunohematology and cellular therapies. In today’s blog, two Canadian Blood Services’ delegates describe their experiences at the congress.
Despite the critical and increasing demand for platelets within the health-care system, they remain the most commonly discarded blood component in Canada. Improper storage outside of the hospital blood bank is the main reason that platelets get discarded before they’ve reached the end of their 7-day shelf life. A team from University of Toronto QUEST research program tested a storage bag specially designed to address the problem of platelet discards.