Canadian Blood Services is making some changes that will see an end to blood donor clinics in North Bay and will take effect in the new year.

Canadian Blood Services will continue collecting whole blood in Sudbury and surrounding areas until the Sudbury whole blood donor centre closes in 2020.

Since Sudbury is currently the hub for Northern Ontario communities, once the whole blood collection centre has closed, Canadian Blood Services will no longer hold the mobile blood collection events in the Northern Ontario communities that are currently served by the Sudbury fixed centre, including North Bay.

Territory Manager Jenny Fortin said she expects the changes to take place no sooner than January 31, 2020, and no later than March 31, 2020.

Canadian Blood Services personnel and equipment from the Sudbury headquarters are currently transported to clinics across the region. In North Bay, the team has been holding a clinic bi-weekly at the Elks Lodge.

“Although we are closing our whole blood collection centre, Sudbury is the first of three communities across Canada that will house a new, state-of-the-art, innovative plasma collection facility and we are welcoming donors in the north to donate plasma at our new site when time permits,” said Fortin.

“This new facility will be dedicated to the collection of source plasma, which is the blood component used to make specialized medicines from the proteins in human plasma,” explained Fortin. “The protein products derived from source plasma are used in the treatment of a variety of life-threatening conditions and opening stand-alone plasma sites will enable Canadian Blood Services to expand plasma collection and alter the current downward trend in Canada’s source plasma sufficiency levels.”

For more about plasma, click here.

Peter MacDonald is the Canadian Blood Services donor relations director for Ontario. He offers assurances that hospitals will still have all the blood they need. Plasma cannot be collected in a mobile setting.

“Plasma-derived products are used for people with compromised immune systems,” explained MacDonald. “We’re seeing demand move up. We’re looking to improve the sufficiency of supply by collecting more plasma, which leads to the manufacture of these type of products for folks who use them on an ongoing basis.”