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.
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.
People with a low platelet blood count, such as cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, can receive a platelet transfusion to boost their platelet count. But what is the best approach to platelet transfusion? In its latest publication, the International Collaboration for Transfusion Medicine Guidelines examines the quality of seven platelet transfusion guidelines.
With an anticipated global shortage of immune globulin products, finding alternatives to IVIg can help improve availability of a drug in high demand. A recent study shows that eltrombopag, an oral medication that stimulates the production of platelets, is an effective alternative to IVIg for patients with immune thrombocytopenia who need surgery.
Dr. Celina Montemayor-Garcia on the potential of genomics to shape the future of transfusion medicine
Dr. Celina Montemayor-Garcia is a researcher and transfusion medicine specialist whose main interest is understanding how genomics and bioinformatics can be used to improve care for transfusion patients. She spoke to us about advances in precision medicine and genomics, and what they could mean for the future of blood systems.
Canada’s leading experts in transfusion medicine came together to collaborate on Treat the Bleed, a website that provides guidance for front-line physicians in treating bleeding patients.
With funding from Canadian Blood Services’ BloodTechNet Award Program, transfusion medicine specialists developed Learnserology.ca, an online curriculum that supports serology education.
COVID-19 has brought major implications for blood transfusion practices: uncertain demand patterns, reduced donations and loss of staff. A recent publication synthesizes studies that address the transfusion chain and provide guidance during times of potential or actual shortage. Dr. Mindy Goldman, medical director at Canadian Blood Services, is one of the study’s authors.
World Hemophilia Day, an international awareness day for hemophilia and other bleeding disorders, is held annually on April 17. Hemophilia, an inherited blood disorder that affects mostly men, impairs a person’s ability to clot blood. A study led by a researcher from the McMaster Centre for Transfusion Research suggests more men have hemophilia worldwide than previously thought, highlights the need for improved hemophilia care, and helps predict demand for the plasma protein products used to treat patients.
For patients who have cardiac surgery, the risk of severe blood loss is high if they have a condition called acquired hypofibrinogenemia — this means they have an undersupply of an essential blood clotting protein called fibrinogen. Doctors aim to minimize their bleeding with a fibrinogen replacement product, either cryoprecipitate or fibrinogen concentrate, to restore clotting factors to normal levels. A recent study that compared both products could have an impact on how cardiac patients are treated in Canada.