Exploring the Potential of Convalescent Plasma Therapy as an Intervention in the Pandemic Response

Convalescent plasma--used for over a century as the first treatment option in outbreaks caused by novel pathogens. The therapy involves transfusion of blood plasma from recovered donors, which contains antibodies, that can prevent or treat infection in recipients. Convalescent plasa therapy has been observed empirically or in small studies to confer passive immunity to susceptible or already infected recipients. Very little rigorous evidence has been available to confirm safety, effectiveness, appropriate target population and delivery strategies of this therapy for specific pathogens.

The politics of clinical trials in a pandemic: The role of the blood service indeveloping a treatment for COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of clinical trials are currently ongoing to evaluate the effectiveness of convalescent plasma derived from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19. As a licensed plasma collector for transfusible plasma and the National blood operator (outside Quebec), Canadian Blood Services has consequently taken on a unique role in several nationally and internationally coordinated clinical trials.

Blood product demand forecast modeling using clinical predictors

Blood transfusion is one of the most crucial and commonly-administrated therapeutics worldwide. The need for more accurate and efficient ways to manage blood demand and supply is an increasing concern in many countries. Building a technology-based robust blood demand and supply system that can achieve the goal of reducing the costs of wastage and shortage, while maintaining the safety of blood usage, is essential in modern healthcare organizations. Many countries have recognized the importance of applying technology and mathematical models into blood inventory planning and management.

Synthesis of Carbohydrate Derivatives for the Improvement of Red Blood Cell Storage

Most red blood cells (RBCs) are stored from 1-6 °C in an additive solution of saline, adenine, glucose, and mannitol for up to 42 days. Cryopreservation of RBCs at -80 ºC in 40% glycerol can prolong their shelf life to at least ten years; however, the process to remove glycerol prior to transfusion is time-consuming and precludes the use of cryopreserved RBCs in emergency situations. The proposed research aims to develop non-toxic carbohydrate derivatives to improve the quality of hypothermically-stored RBCs and facilitate the use of cryopreserved RBCs.

Novel Cell-surface Engineering Methods to Increase Immune-tolerance of Allogenic Cell Transplantation

Blood transfusion is required for surgery, for the treatment of traumatic accidents and for patients with disorders that require lifelong transfusion therapy. However, when patients receive “mismatched” blood transfusion, their immune system will attack and destroy red blood cells with surface sugars and proteins that differ from their own. This results in massive immune responses in patients, causing shock and even death.

Apoptosis as a Mechanism for Delayed Engraftment in Cryopreserved Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplants

High dose chemotherapy treatment for lymphoma is followed by the infusion of patients’ own bloodforming stem cells to restore the function of the bone marrow. Canada Blood Services provides critical support in processing and storing these essential stem cell products at very low temperatures. On occasion, the recovery of blood cells after the transplant is delayed, increasing the risk of infections and bleeding complications. In many cases, it is not known why there is delayed engraftment.