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Canadian Blood Services in talks with firms that pay donors for plasma as supply dips

Click to play video: 'Canadian Blood Services asks for more donations as it grapples with low donor base' Canadian Blood Services asks for more donations as it grapples with low donor base
Canadian Blood Services is looking for more Canadians to donate blood, as they grapple with their smallest donor base in a decade. The organization has said the number of people who donate regularly has dropped since the start of the pandemic. As Amber Fryday reports, the Halifax Clinic has nearly 600 appointments that they’re hoping to fill before the month’s end. – Aug 8, 2022

Canadian Blood Services says it is in talks with companies that pay donors for plasma as it faces a decrease in collections.

The blood-collection agency issued a statement on Friday saying it is in “ongoing discussion with governments and the commercial plasma industry” on how to more than double domestic plasma collection to 50 per cent of supply.

Read more: Halifax Blood Services clinic looking to fill nearly 600 appointments for blood donation

Canadian Blood Services has previously cautioned that letting companies trade cash for plasma — a practice banned in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec — could funnel donors away from voluntary giving.

The agency issued a plea earlier this week for donors to book and keep appointments, noting collections have been decreasing since July 1 despite a constant need for plasma in transfusions for surgery, cancer patients and accident victims.

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Click to play video: 'Canadian Blood Services Peterborough looking to fill 163 appointments before Labour Day' Canadian Blood Services Peterborough looking to fill 163 appointments before Labour Day
Canadian Blood Services Peterborough looking to fill 163 appointments before Labour Day – Aug 12, 2022

The organization says the number of people who donate blood regularly dropped by 31,000 during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving it with the smallest donor base in a decade.

The agency has opened five new plasma donor centres in the last few years, with six more planned by 2024 in an effort to draw 25 per cent of its supply from Canadian donors, but it says “more needs to be done” to reach the 50 per cent threshold, including potentially working with private partners.

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