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Last Modified: July 16 2014 
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CBS Buffy Coat Blood Bag Implementation

In 2008, Canadian Blood Services (CBS) implemented a new and improved method of producing platelets from whole blood donations. This new “Buffy Coat Component Production” method required significant changes to CBS and Transfusion Medicine service operations, but has brought benefits to both CBS and the recipients of blood products.

The Buffy Coat Production method ensures that hospitals receive a pooled, bacterially tested, ready-to-transfuse platelet concentrate with a five-day shelf life. This new method is also expected to improve availability and provide a higher yield of platelets, as more of the whole blood donations can be made into platelet products.

This change in production method required the introduction of new blood bags. Following the first CBS pilot in Edmonton in 2006, the BC Provincial Blood Coordinating Office (PBCO) facilitated the second pilot in British Columbia and the Yukon in 2007. The purpose of the project at the PBCO was to facilitate the provincial implementation of Buffy Coat while working to mitigate any potential risks to patients, staff, and product safety.

PBCO Buffy Coat Blood Bag Implementation Project Objectives

•Ensure sufficient and effective communication with/among health authorities in BC to raise awareness of the change in blood bags and the reason for the change.
•Facilitate the change to new infusion sets proven to be serviceable in combination with the new buffy coat blood bags.
•Liaise with the blood bag vendors, CBS and the health authorities.
•Assist with coordination of training efforts and encourage the broadest possible reach within the health authorities.
•Coordinate the development of a process for feedback of information related to inserting the new infusion sets (spiking) into the new blood bags.
•Provide a centralized, provincial resource for the health authorities in the event of product, training, or other unexpected difficulties.

A final report on the BC buffy coat blood bag implementation was completed on August 22, 2007.

A DVD/CD ROM was produced to show the differences in spiking the new bags, and distributed to nursing educators in the province to assist with clinical training for the implementation changes.