A first in Québec: Trois-Rivières chosen as the future site for a new type of blood collection centre
The purpose of this centre, slated to open in fall 2013, is to increase the number of plasma donations by apheresis*. This blood product is used to produce medications for patients with a weaker immune system as well as to treat a dozen other diseases, for example neurological disorders. Currently, Québec depends heavily on plasma collected abroad, and a strategy is needed to achieve an acceptable degree of self-sufficiency in donations for these specialized medications.
“We are proud to be joining forces with the city of Trois-Rivières for this Québec first and to be contributing to creating jobs in the area as well as in Québec. The choice to go with Trois-Rivières for this major project was based on the commitment of Trifluvians to the cause of blood donation and the potential that this region of the Mauricie offers. Trois-Rivières is unquestionably an excellent incubator for this innovative initiative that we hope to be able to reproduce elsewhere in Québec,” explains Dr. Jean De Serres, President and CEO of Héma-Québec.
“The Héma-Québec plasma centre project confirms Trifluvians’ interest in contributing to this health care initiative. We value the creation of quality jobs and want to assure Héma-Québec of our full support in completing the new collection centre as well as in recruiting donors,” stated Yves Lévesque, mayor of Trois-Rivières.
“The establishment of this new collection centre is a good illustration of Héma-Québec’s capacity to innovate. It is excellent news for Québec, as it will now be able to enjoy greater autonomy with regard to blood products,” said the Minister of Health and Social Services, Réjean Hébert.
The Trois-Rivières project announced today could lead to the establishment of other plasma donor centres in the main urban areas of Québec within the next five years.
* The term “apheresis” refers to a blood collection technique. During a donation by apheresis, the donor’s blood passes through a device that collects the required blood components. The blood is centrifuged and the components that were not collected are returned to the donor.