Transfusion safety

Safety is the number one priority in the blood system in Canada. The Provincial Blood Coordinating Program (PBCP) helps make sure Alberta’s blood supply is safe by managing a surveillance program and developing training and education programs.

Transfusion Transmitted Injuries Surveillance System (TTISS)

The 1997 Report of the Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada led to a series of initiatives and enhanced funding to improve the safety of Canada’s blood supply. One initiative, for reporting adverse transfusion events, is the Transfusion Transmitted Injuries Surveillance System (TTISS). The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) leads this program. TTISS began as a pilot project in 1999 and is now a national program that monitors transfusion reactions in Canada.

Hospitals report adverse transfusion reactions voluntarily to TTISS, this allows the monitoring of known transfusion risks and new transfusion risks in the blood supply. The aim of the surveillance system is to improve transfusion processes and patient safety in Canada.

Provincial status

Alberta has actively participated in TTISS since 2007. Continuing participation in TTISS is a goal of the Provincial Blood Coordinating Program (PBCP).

Every year a report on the progress of the TTISS program in Alberta is prepared. The aim of the report is to share information about transfusion reactions to transfusion medicine specialists in Alberta.

The PBCP is working on three initiatives to expand and improve the TTISS program in Alberta:

  1. Achieve full provincial participation in TTISS.
  2. Together with AHS, develop an educational program to provide training to clinical and laboratory staff in the recognition and reporting of transfusion reactions and TTISS.
  3. Standardize the TTISS reporting system in Alberta.

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