Blood collection agency issues recall of Regina donations

The Canadian Blood Services says it is recalling blood that was donated in Regina in the past 12 months because one of its screening procedures — a question posed to donors — did not meet a quality-control standard. Some donors were not asked the question.

Screening procedures did not meet standards all the time, Canadian Blood Services says

Dr. Ted Alport, from the Regina branch of Canadian Blood Services, says despite a recall of blood products over a screening question not posed to donors, there is a low risk to patients because donated blood was also tested to ensure it is safe. (CBC)

The Canadian Blood Services says it is recalling blood that was donated in Regina in the past 12 months because one of its screening procedures — a question posed to donors — did not meet a quality-control standard.

"Blood products included in the recall underwent routine donor testing and all test results were negative for infectious agents prior to their release" Dr.Ted Alport, the medical director for Canadian Blood Services in Saskatchewan, said Friday. "The risk to blood recipients is remote and this situation is not likely to cause any adverse health consequences."

According to the agency, the recall — described as a voluntary move — affects products sent to hospitals between Oct. 2, 2011 and Wednesday of this week.

Alport explained that one portion of the donor screening process was not being done correctly all the time.

"The step that was missed was in the donor-screening area," Alport said. "There's a part where the [screening] questions are asked verbally and it was the questions that were asked verbally that we believe that, in a few instances — particularly with a few repeat donors — some of the nurses may not have been asking all of the questions every time."

Blood donor clinics in Regina and the area were shut down on Friday, "to meet with all Regina-based employees to reinforce safety and quality standards."

Alport added that the experience in Regina would be shared with other blood donor clinics across the country, to reinforce the importance of following all procedures all the time.

The Regina clinics would be open again on Saturday.

The agency said it has notified all the affected hospitals and has made arrangements for supplies of blood from the national blood collection system.