Canadian Blood Services is the national agency that handles blood
product donation, testing, and distribution in Canada
. CBS also maintains Canada's Unrelated Bone Marrow
Donor registry. It was founded in late 1997
, taking the place of the Red Cross
society after a scandal of sorts involving class action lawsuit
s people who were infected by AIDS
in the 80s before the red cross started testing for aids. Canadian Blood Services is under the authority of provincial and territorial health
CBS has many permanent donor clinics in each province, and runs many outreach clinics in outlying communities and in schools and other places in large centres, to make blood donation more accessible and convenient. Potential donors go through a screening process to increase the safety of the blood supply, answering questions about potential risk activities. The CBS has introduced a cool anonymous opt-out process where donors are given two barcodes and a private booth to pick one to stick on their questionnaire - one for "Yes, use my blood", one for "No, do not use my blood" - as an extra safety net for people who are embarrassed to say yes to the nurse about some of the questions, or who may feel pressured in to donating by friends and don't want to have to explain to them why they didn't give blood. In view of the personal nature of the information they collect, they have a very strict confidentiality policy.
Every unit of blood donated is tested extensively for HIV, Hepatitis, Malaria.. you name it. Safety is their first priority. All donations are voluntary, and other than a cute lapel pin and some pamphlets, donors are not paid in any way for giving blood - this is both to keep blood products affordable for the provinces and for patients, and as a safety measure to ensure that no one lies about a risk factor because they need the money.
Their logo is a red circle on a white background with a red drop of blood with a white maple leaf inset.