Héma-Québec points out the publication of the new blood and blood components standard of the Canadian Standards Association

Montréal, September 22, 2004 - Héma-Québec, supplier of blood components in Québec, points out the publication of the new standard of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) on blood and blood components (CSA Z902-04).

“ Héma-Québec actively participated in developing this CSA standard since, as the supplier of blood products in Québec, it had already implemented standard operating procedures several years ago that were compliant with Health Canada requirements, which were inspired by North American and European standards,” stated Dr. Francine Décary, Chief Executive Officer of Héma-Québec. “The CSA standard in some way emphasizes the fact that Héma-Québec is compliant, as evidenced by Health Canada’s annual renewal of its operating licence since 1998. The safety of donors and recipients is central to our mission and this safety has been ensured by many years of compliance with the strictest standards.”

In fact, Héma-Québec applies the highest standards and uses the latest technologies in order to ensure the safe and adequate supply of blood products distributed to hospital patients. These standards are issued and monitored by Health Canada.

It should be remembered that, since 1989, blood has been considered a biological drug under law. To be able to operate a blood bank in Canada, a supplier must be qualified and hold an operating licence issued by Health Canada. Héma-Québec has held this licence since it began operating in 1998. It is renewable through annual inspections, such as those the Québec blood component supplier undergoes. The organization also performs its own internal audits on a continual basis in order to maintain the highest level of compliance with standards.

According to a recent survey conducted in Québec in January 2004, 86% of those interviewed indicated that they had as much or more confidence in Québec’s blood collection and distribution system as they did five years ago, particularly because of the increased controls and screening tests. Respondents were generally of the opinion that Héma-Québec does all it can to ensure the safety of the blood supply system.

Héma-Québec's mission is to efficiently provide adequate quantities of safe, optimal blood components, substitutes and human tissues to meet the needs of all Quebeckers; and to provide and develop expertise and services, along with specialized and innovative products, in the fields of transfusion medicine and human tissue transplantation.