“An aging population is a double challenge for Canadian Blood Services. First, as large percentage of our population gets older, healthcare activity will increase and so will demand for blood and blood products as a consequence. Secondly, a large segment of our most loyal donors are at the age where they will soon move from being donors to users of the blood system.” – From the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) website
Last week’s surprise announcement of the closure of the CBS Thunder Bay plasma collection center raises numerous questions, including the credibility of the above statement from CBS.
If CBS is so concerned about its donations, why would it close the doors of its only dedicated plasma collection center in the country?
Donors in Thunder Bay are feeling betrayed, told there was a significant need for them to come and donate, then suddenly told it was all unnecessary. Some of their “most loyal donors” are now wondering if they were lied to.
CBS maintains it has a surplus of 10,000 units of plasma per year. Thunder Bay produces 10,800 units. CBS needs in excess of 220,000 units of plasma per year for both transfusions and for fractionation into blood plasma products. That’s not much of an oversupply, especially if you really are anticipating increased need from aging.
Thunder Bay is closing to eliminate 10,000 units, while CBS is accessing more than 20,000 “surplus” plasma units from the United States according to their 2010-11 annual report.