The only place to donate platelets in northern Ontario is being shut down now that the Canadian Blood Services is cancelling its platelet donation program in Sudbury.

The agency will continue to collect whole blood in Sudbury, but it's not installing new, more efficient machines for platelet donations.

All platelet donation for people in this region will now happen in Ottawa, said the chief operating officer for Canadian Blood Services.

"As we are deploying that technology across the country, a small platelet program such as we have in Sudbury just isn't viable any longer," said Ian Mumford .

Platelets are a component of blood that allows it to clot. Cancer patients often need large volumes of platelets while they undergo treatment.

Annie Barrette, who speaks for Canadian Blood Services in Sudbury, said platelets collected in the city were already being shipped to Ottawa for processing.

"Essentially the program is moving to Ottawa on May 31," she said.

"Because of upcoming technological changes to our aging equipment, as well as some other operational changes, we will be moving that."

About 140 people in Sudbury donated platelets last year.