HÉMA-QUÉBEC's facility in Québec City passes annual inspection

Montréal, March 4, 2002 - HÉMA-QUÉBEC has once again successfully passed its annual inspection. Inspectors from the Blood Establishment Regulation Division (BERD) - a branch of Health Canada - maintained HÉMA-QUÉBEC's operating licence following the yearly procedural audit, which took place at the Québec City facility between February 4 and 8, 2002.

Throughout the audit of the Québec City facility, the BERD inspectors noted compliance with all safety measures and with the requirements stipulated in HÉMA-QUÉBEC's operating licence. The inspectors also noted that the safety of blood components is a priority for all HÉMA-QUÉBEC personnel.

"Since it was set up in 1998, HÉMA-QUÉBEC has repeatedly demonstrated that the safety and well-being of patients is given top priority in all its activities. We are proud to have proven our commitment to Quebeckers once again today," explains Dr. Francine Décary, Executive Director of HÉMA-QUÉBEC.

During the four-day inspection, three BERD inspectors reviewed a vast quantity of files. After examining more than 900 blood donation files for donations made during the trying week of September 11, the inspectors only found two procedures that needed improving. A total of seven minor observations that have no major impact on product safety were made. Corrective measures have already been, or soon will be, implemented for all observations.

HÉMA-QUÉBEC's mission is to provide Quebeckers with sufficient quantities of safe, top-quality blood components, derivatives and blood substitutes to meet the needs of hospitals, and to provide recognized expertise and specialized services in the field of immunohematology. Each year, HÉMA-QUÉBEC holds more than 2,000 blood clinics throughout the province and supplies 337,000 units of blood components required by hospitals to treat patients. To meet the needs of hospitals, HÉMA-QUÉBEC holds blood clinics for 280,000 donors and counts on the help of more than 25,000 volunteers.

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The list of observations made by the Blood Establishment Regulation Division and HÉMA-QUÉBEC's response.