Canadian Blood Services: Change in Donor Screening Model

News Category: 
Publication date: 
Mon, 2012-11-12


Canadian Blood Services: Change in Donor Screening Model

November 09, 2012

The Ontario Nurses' Association has been advised by our partner, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU), that Health Canada has removed the licensing conditions mandated as part of the pilot of the Donor Care Associate (DCA) model. The removal of conditions allows the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) to move forward with plans to expand the Donor Care Associate model nationally.

ONA, CFNU and our sister unions across the country have been lobbying against this approval and move by CBS to minimize the impact of this model change on our members and the Canadian public.

Donor Care Associates are unregulated workers who are hired and trained by Canadian Blood Services to screen potential blood donors at Blood Donor Clinics across Canada. Registered nurses who are able to ask additional assessment and screening questions have been providing this service until this change.

ONA members are concerned that donors may not be screened appropriately posing a risk to Ontario's very important blood supply. Nurses' Unions across Canada lobbied Health Canada to prevent this change. Registered nurses want to ensure that the blood supply is safe for the vulnerable patients who receive blood products.

Apparently, Health Canada has forgotten the tainted blood scandal of the 1990s. The Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada (known as the Krever Inquiry) was commissioned by the Federal Government in October 1993. Headed by Mr Justice Horace Krever, the Commission spent four years investigating the tainted blood tragedy, issuing its final report on 21 November 1997.