Friday, May 12, 2006

Canadian Blood Services statistics (collections and staffing)

Below are some interesting statistics from a Canadian Blood Services' (CBS) presentation regarding provincial legislation that could impact CBS in an extreme emergency*.

What initially surprised me was that Ontario, albeit our most populous province, donates about 50% of the blood in Canada. The key statistics:

  • Annual whole blood collections: ~870,000 units
  • Annual collections in Ontario: 50% of national total
  • Permanent collection sites: 42
  • Blood donor clinics:14,000
  • Hospitals served: ~ 750

National Employees (Ontario in brackets)

  • Physicians: 62 (22)
  • Registered nurses: 597 (304)
  • Medical laboratory technologists:490 (158)

Canada's total population is almost 33 million and Ontario's is about 12.5 million (~37.9% of the total population). Quebec is missing from the CBS statistics, since that province's blood system is operated by Héma-Québec. Québec's population of 7.5 million represents about 24% of the Canadian population.

A few simple calculations: CBS serves a population of 25.5 million, of which Ontarians constitute 49%. Therefore, Ontarians donating 50% of the national total is about right.

Makes me wonder if all Canadian provinces and territories are pulling their weight, donation-wise, as well.

Another surprising statistic is that CBS employs about 20% more nurses than technologists. This could make sense if the cited figures include many more part-time nurses than part-time technologists. Otherwise, it seems odd, given the myriad of technologists who test, supervise component preparation, perform quality assurance, and liase with hospitals to distribute blood products, as well as the smaller number of CBS technologists who work in patient service laboratories performing pretransfusion and perinatal testing.

* Source (PDF): CBS presentation on Ontario's proposed Emergency Management Statute Law Amendment Act 2006 - Bill 56

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