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Whether you’re having trouble with your account, or would like to make a suggestion, Canadian Blood Services offers you quick and convenient options to troubleshoot or get in touch. Contact us via live chat, consult our FAQ, send an email, or give us a call at 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283).

Component Modifications

Component Modifications – Irradiated

Irradiation is performed on cellular products before transfusion to certain patients at risk of developing a condition called transfusion-associated graft-vs-host disease (TA-GvHD). Indicate on the Blood Order form if irradiation is required.

Canadian Blood Services employs instruments with Cesium-137 to deliver a gamma irradiation dose of 25 Gy. Each cellular blood component that is irradiated has an indicator applied to the bag. In addition, the component name on the end label is modified to reflect the new component name. The following may be used as a guide when an irradiated blood component is received. Contact your local Canadian Blood Services Distribution department with any questions, or if the irradiation indicator or component end label do not appear as indicated below.

Indicator* Example Component Name  





Component Modifications – Washed

Washing of red blood cells may be indicated for patients with a history of severe or repeated reactions that is unresponsive to premedication. Canadian Blood Services employs an instrument that allows washing to occur in a closed system, with 100 ml of Saline Adenine Glucose Manitol (SAGM) additive solution added to the final component.

“Extra wash” red blood cells are also available for IgA patients with anti-IgA and a history of anaphylactic reactions, when IgA deficient donor red blood cells are not available.

For more information see our Circular of Information and Customer Letter2013-13: Washed Red Blood Cells with Extended Expiry – Product Codes and Label Text.

Component Modifications – Deglycerolized

Red blood cells for patients requiring specific or rare phenotypes may only be available from the frozen red blood cell inventory. Red blood cell units are frozen with glycerol added as a cryoprotectant, and the glycerol must be removed after thawing and prior to transfusion. This is accomplished by washing the red blood cells at Canadian Blood Services, prior to issuing the unit(s) to the hospital. A patient treatment plan is essential for patients being treated with frozen red blood cells, as these thawed/washed red blood cell units only have a 24 hour expiry.