Protester Janet Conners in Ottawa accuses the government and Canadian blood supply managers of silence and coverups during the tainted blood scandal of the 1970s and '80s. The woman's husband died from AIDS contracted from a blood transfusion. (Andrew Wallace/Canadian Press)

Canada’s blood supply
10 years after Krever, is it safe?
Last Updated April 27, 2007
CBC News

Blood is probably the most precious liquid on Earth. It nourishes and restores life and is shared widely within communities, countries and around the world.

Bad or tainted blood is a human disaster on a similarly vast scale, as scandals in Canada, France, Australia and Britain have shown. A decade ago, this country finally began to come to terms with the criminal tragedy of blood infected with HIV and hepatitis C, and the thousands upon thousands of innocent Canadians who contracted the diseases through blood transfusions.

In November 1997, a royal commission headed by Justice Horace Krever of the Ontario Court of Appeal roundly vilified governments and blood collection agencies for their roles in that dark episode. Criminal charges were laid and the country belatedly took extensive steps to protect the blood supply.

Independent public agencies were set up to collect and protect blood donations in Quebec and the rest of Canada. Extensive testing was introduced at every stage of the process. Politicians and victims of the scandal squared off across a minefield of compensation and liability issues, and slowly but surely the crucial central issue of ensuring a safe blood supply began.

So where do we stand now? Is Canada’s blood supply safe? Is it being adequately protected from existing threats and those that might come along in future? And will we have enough blood to serve an aging population when demographics show that most blood donors are themselves aging, with younger people yet to pick up the demographic slack?

See full Article:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/health/blood-supply.html