A first in Québec - Trois-Rivières chosen as the future site for a new type of blood collection centre

TROIS-RIVIÈRES, QC, Jan. 22, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Héma-Québec has chosen the city of Trois-Rivières as an introductory site for a new type of donor collection centre intended exclusively for the collection of plasma, a blood component for which demand is growing rapidly.

The purpose of this centre, slated to open in fall 2013, is to increase the number of plasma donations by apheresis*. This blood product is used to produce medications for patients with a weaker immune system as well as to treat a dozen other diseases, for example neurological disorders. Currently, Québec depends heavily on plasma collected abroad, and a strategy is needed to achieve an acceptable degree of self-sufficiency in donations for these specialized medications.

"We are proud to be joining forces with the city of Trois-Rivières for this Québec first and to be contributing to creating jobs in the area as well as in Québec. The choice to go with Trois-Rivières for this major project was based on the commitment of Trifluvians to the cause of blood donation and the potential that this region of the Mauricie offers. Trois-Rivières is unquestionably an excellent incubator for this innovative initiative that we hope to be able to reproduce elsewhere in Québec," explains Dr. Jean De Serres, President and CEO of Héma-Québec.

"The Héma-Québec plasma centre project confirms Trifluvians' interest in contributing to this health care initiative. We value the creation of quality jobs and want to assure Héma-Québec of our full support in completing the new collection centre as well as in recruiting donors," stated Yves Lévesque, mayor of Trois-Rivières.

"The establishment of this new collection centre is a good illustration of Héma-Québec's capacity to innovate. It is excellent news for Québec, as it will now be able to enjoy greater autonomy with regard to blood products," said the Minister of Health and Social Services, Réjean Hébert.

The Trois-Rivières project announced today could lead to the establishment of other plasma donor centres in the main urban areas of Québec within the next five years.

About Héma-Québec 
Héma-Québec's mission is to efficiently provide adequate quantities of safe, optimal blood components, substitutes, human tissues and cord blood to meet the needs of all Quebecers; to provide and develop expertise along with specialized and innovative services and products in the fields of transfusion medicine and human tissue transplantation.

Héma-Québec encompasses 1,300 employees, over 300,000 donor visits to blood drives per year, 16,000 volunteers and more than 500,000 blood products delivered annually to Québec hospitals to meet the needs of patients.

Give blood. Give life.

*  The term "apheresis" refers to a blood collection technique. During a donation by apheresis, the donor's blood passes through a device that collects the required blood components. The blood is centrifuged and the components that were not collected are returned to the donor.


SOURCE: Héma-Québec

For further information:

Héma-Québec   
Media Line |  514-832-0871
www.hema-quebec.qc.ca

City of Trois-Rivières
Innovation et Développement économique Trois-Rivières
Josiane Gagnon
Conseillère en communication
Tél. : 819 374-4061, poste 5129

MSSS
Ariane Lareau
Attachée de presse du ministre de la Santé et des Services sociaux
et ministre responsable des Aînés
Tél. : 418 266-7171