Blood system is safe and clinics are open for donations

Investigators determine mysterious substances sent to Canadian Blood Services not harmful

OTTAWA, Aug. 29, 2014 /CNW/ - Canadian Blood Services is reassuring Canadians that blood system is safe after suspicious packages were received in Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg.

"I would like to reassure our donors, volunteers, employees, and most importantly the patients who depend on our products that we have been taking this situation very seriously," says Dr. Graham Sher, Canadian Blood Services CEO.

Between August 26 and August 29, several packages were received. In each case, appropriate protocoles were followed and police were contacted. It was determined the packages did not contain harmful substances.

 "It's important for Canadians to know that although these incidents have caused interruptions to our operations, the blood system continues to be safe," added Dr. Sher. "The need for blood is constant. We are counting on donors to keep their appointments and we look forward to seeing them in our clinics."

Canadian Blood Services is contacting donors who were unable to give blood over the past few days because of these incidents, so that they can reschedule their appointments. We are also asking Canadians to consider making an appointment to donate blood over the long weekend as these incidents have affected our operations. The challenging summer months have already put pressure on Canada's national blood supply and we are counting on donors to keep their crucial appointments. 

Canadian Blood Services is taking necessary steps to monitor the situation. The incidents are being investigated. We will release information as it becomes available.

About Canadian Blood Services
Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the supply of blood and blood products in all provinces and territories outside of Quebec. Canadian Blood Services also oversees the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, is establishing Canada's (excluding Quebec) national public cord blood bank and supports leading practices development, professional education and public awareness for organ and tissue donation and transplantation. In addition, Canadian Blood Services purchases manufactured plasma protein products, contributes to transfusion medicine research and provides diagnostic services in some provinces. It operates 41 permanent collection sites and more than 21,000 donor clinics annually. The provincial and territorial Ministries of Health provide operational funding to Canadian Blood Services. The federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for regulating the blood system.

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SOURCE Canadian Blood Services

For further information: media@blood.ca, 1 877 709 7773