Minutes of the 46th meeting
Held in the Board Room at 4045 Côte-Vertu Boulevard, St-Laurent, Wednesday, September 10, 2003, at 2:00 p.m
Hemovigilance Committee observer:
1. Call to order
2. Presentation of Héma-Québec’s advertising campaign (2003–2005)
The Director, Marketing, and the Manager, Direct Marketing, presented the 2003–2005 advertising campaign to the Board members. The radio, television and poster components were presented. The radio and television components of this campaign are intended to highlight the donor’s gesture, joining the donor and the recipient in a fictitious manner. The poster campaign is intended to inform the public of the blood donation by provided a few related statistics.
The members said they were satisfied with this new campaign and thanked the Marketing Department for this presentation.
The Director, Marketing, and the Manager, Direct Marketing, left the meeting.
3. Adoption of the agenda
4. Adoption of the minutes of the 45th meeting, held on June 18, 2003
4.1. Executive Committee meeting of August 14, 2003—Approval of the PBDE project
5. Unfinished business from the 45th meeting
5.2. West Nile virus: update
As planned, the screening test developed by Héma-Québec’s R&D Division was implemented on June 18, 2003, while the Roche test was implemented on June 26, 2003. Since that time, more than 50,000 donors have been tested. No positive results have been obtained to date.
Héma-Québec started distributing the frozen components obtained before the 2003 WNV season (January to June) on July 28, 2003. This decision was based on the increased activity of the WNV in mosquitoes. The frozen components obtained after the anti-HBc test was implemented are being distributed to hospitals while the frozen components obtained before this safety measure was implemented will be sent to Bayer to be transformed into stable products.
Moreover, after implementing the question asking donors about WNV symptoms, Héma-Québec observed a very low deferral rate (12 donors in July).
The Senior Director, Medical Affairs, submitted the scientific data collected in recent months concerning the estimated sensitivity of the screening test, which is 90%. However, this is a preliminary estimate that should be confirmed by additional data.
The Senior Director, Medical Affairs, first discussed the issue of testing each individual donation for WNV. Certain centres in the United States and Canadian Blood Services (CBS) in Saskatchewan have started individual testing as a result of a high rate of positive results (1/500). Considering the epidemiological situation of Québec, the potential shortage of screening kits if everyone converts to individual testing and the high efficiency rate of the Roche test, he is of the opinion that pooled screening, as currently used by Héma-Québec, is adequate for the situation in Quebec. Nevertheless, all of this data should be re-evaluated for the next summer.
Power failure in Ontario
5.3. Regional public meetings
The pilot project will take place in three cities in Québec at the start of 2004. These meetings will be re-evaluated at the end of the pilot project, in June 2004. FD
5.4. General and professional liability insurance coverage: response from RBC Royal Bank
6. Management report as at June 30, 2003
The table of budget variances shows a positive variance of $3,773,061 for the labile net total and a positive variance of $9,033,529 for the stable total.
The cash flow situation was presented. As at March 31, 2003, a sum of almost $5,000,000 was taken from the line of credit. Nevertheless, during the first quarter of 2003–2004, Héma-Québec had to use its line of credit only for a few days, namely in April 2003. Since then the cash flow has been positive.
Following a request from the Premier’s office, the Secrétariat du sang asked Héma-Québec to identify potential savings for 2003–2004. Héma-Québec informed the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) of substantial savings due, in large part, to the exchange rate. In order to justify the savings announced, Héma-Québec will inform the MSSS about the actions it has taken to free up these sums. The Director, Accounting, left the meeting.
7. 2002–2003 demographic report
The members asked if the age breakdown for the donors was the same as for last year. Follow-up will be provided at the meeting of December 17, 2003.
So that additional questions from the Board members can be answered, this item will be included in the agenda for the meeting to be held on December 17, 2003.
8. Closed discussions
The Executive Director and guests left the meeting.
9. Final report of the Serum Bank Sample project
When it purchased the assets of the Canadian Red Cross Society on September 28, 1998, Héma-Québec acquired samples conserved in the serum bank. These samples correspond to donations made between 1988 and 1992.
In November 1998, the Board of Directors decided that Héma-Québec would test all the samples in the serum bank for hepatitis C in order to notify any donors who tested positive and those who received products made from those donations.
The Senior Director, Medical Affairs, presented the final report for the project and commented on some of the results for the 164,401 samples tested. The percentage of positive results for all of the samples was approximately 0.4829% (0.39% before the first generation test and 0.09% after).
Of the 392 positive donors notified, 105 donors learned that they were carrying the virus as a result of Héma-Québec’s test. Most of the recipients were located. More than two thirds of them had died. However, it is reasonable to believe that the vast majority of these recipients died as a result of a primary disease since hepatitis C rarely results in death during the first decade after contamination.
The cost of the project was estimated at $4,000,000, but it actually cost $1,738,866 as a result of the smaller number of samples tested.
The members said they were satisfied since the project attained its goal, namely to notify those who were unaware that they carried hepatitis C.
The Senior Director, Medical Affairs, left the meeting.
10. Fifth anniversary of Héma-Québec
The Executive Director presented the scenario retained:
The members expressed their satisfaction.
11. Risk management
With a view to risk management and despite the fact that it is not a pathogen, the Management Committee focussed on levels of lead in blood. This concern arose following an article published in Lancet on July 26, 2003. Héma-Québec, in cooperation with the Institut national de la santé publique, will develop a protocol for measuring levels of lead in donors in order to determine if this could constitute a risk for newborn recipients and take the necessary measures, as needed.
The Executive Director informed members that risk management is a statutory point for the Héma-Québec Management Committee.
11.2. Risk management policy
12. Tabling of the revised version of Héma-Québec’s vision
Motion to approve Héma-Québec’s mission with the modification requested. Second. Adopted unanimously.
13. Ongoing projects, 2003–2004
14. Committee report
Motion to approve the schedule of the 2003–2004 meetings of the Board of Directors, with the change made to the meeting of November 5, 2003. Seconded. Adopted unanimously.
The meting scheduled for November 5, 2003, will start at 8:00 a.m. so that Héma-Québec’s senior directors can present their respective 2004–2005 budgets.
15.2. Visit by Dr. Couillard, Minister of Health and Social Services
15.3. Reintegration of a donor
For this reason, the Senior Director, Medical Affairs, will meet with the donor and inform him about Héma-Québec’s decision as well as the conditions attached to it, namely that his donation must not be used as a platform to promote his personal cause. It is agreed that, if this were to be the case, he will not be accepted as a donor. The members agree with this approach. FD/GD
15.4. Reports on the vCJD consensus conference
A new consensus conference on TRALI is scheduled for March 2004.
16. Next meeting