Plasma supply dwindling, Canadian Blood Services in talks about paid donations

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Canadian Blood Services says it’s in talks with the government, as well as private companies that pay donors for plasma to tackle the issue of decreased donations.

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With a 17 per cent drop in its inventory, the service needs to fill over 600 appointments this month alone. Canadian Blood Services issued a plea last week for donors to book and keep their appointments.

Despite a constant need for protein-rich plasma needed for people with immune deficiencies and rare blood disorders, kidney and liver disease, various cancer patients, and others.

Donating plasma is similar to donating blood, only the plasma portion of your blood is collected while other components are returned to you.

Currently, companies paying cash for plasma is a practice that is banned in British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario.

The bulk of Canada’s non-profit agency supply currently comes from abroad, including from organizations that pay donors. The agency says it is working on how to more than double plasma collection by allowing companies to compensate donors for plasma here.

Some advocacy groups say the agency should double its collection strategy, instead of turning to private collectors.

In a statement to CHCH News, Canadian Blood Services says it is working to reduce Canada’s dependency on the global market so that at least half of the plasma needed can be made from donations in Canada instead.

CHCH News reached out to Health Canada for comment, but they did not respond.

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