Canadian Blood Services in talks on paid plasma donation

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

The blood collection agency released a statement on Friday saying it was in “ongoing discussions with governments and the commercial plasma industry” about how to more than double national plasma collection to 50% of l ‘supply.

Canadian Blood Services has previously warned that letting companies swap cash for plasma — a practice banned in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec — could drive donors away from voluntary donation.

The agency issued an appeal earlier this week for donors to make and keep appointments, noting that collections have declined since July 1 despite a continued need for plasma in transfusions for surgery, patients with cancer and accident victims.

The organization says the number of people donating blood has steadily 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 centers in recent years, and six more are planned by 2024 with the goal of getting 25% of its supply from Canadian donors, but says it “has to do plus” to reach the 50 percentage threshold, including the possibility of working with private partners.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 13, 2021.