CBS Whole Blood Collection Change Needs Intervention, Review

My wife and I went to give blood last week in Harrow and were surprised — and shocked — to hear that Canadian Blood Services (CBS) would stop doing whole blood collection in all of Windsor/Essex. The last scheduled collection will take place in Kingsville in two months.

With a population of 340,000 (2022 stats), it seems counter-productive to us that CBS has decided that our contribution to alleviating the chronic shortage of Canada’s blood supply should be so callously dismissed. By next year, if anyone in W/E wants to donate blood, their nearest opportunity to do so will be a 3.5-4.5 hour round trip to Chatham ON.

If things go as planned, a pheresis (plasma gathering) facility will be left in Windsor with a mobile facility used intermittently to collect only one type of blood. Again, this decision by CBS is discouraging one third of a million Canadians of Windsor/Essex from contributing to this important and altruistic effort.

In addition to the time commitment now required of volunteers, I am wondering if CBS has taken into account the following considerations:

1) Three hospitals in W/E will be deprived of a local source of whole blood;

2) 1 in 300 Canadians (Canadian Hemochromatosis Society stats), or 1100 W/E residents, have hemochromatosis -a condition where they retain too much iron- which can be best alleviated by donating whole blood, not plasma. These folks will be made to either drive to Chatham or arrange to have it done at a local hospital where it is incinerated, thus being wasted. We’re talking of a potential of over 3000 units of useable blood per year;

3) The environmental impact of those 1100 folks- plus all the other intrepid volunteers-making that trip up to 2 to 4 times per year.

If you feel strongly that CBS is making the wrong decision then contact your local MPP. We found one of the three to be responsive to our concerns.

We are still shaking our head in wondering what pencil-headed bean-counting bureaucrat made this decision.

Peter & Barb WisemanAmherstburg, ON

Image by Robert DeLaRosa from Pixabay

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