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Influenza A (H1N1) - Héma-Québec prepares for possible pandemic

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  • Influenza A (H1N1) - Héma-Québec prepares for possible pandemic

    Source: http://www.newswire.ca/fr/releases/a.../01/c7524.html

    Influenza A (H1N1) - Héma-Québec prepares for possible pandemic

    MONTREAL, May 1 /CNW Telbec/ - Héma-Québec-Québec's blood products
    supplier-is preparing for an influenza A (H1N1) pandemic in order to reduce
    the impact on donors, personnel, and volunteers.
    Héma-Québec is monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis, in tandem
    with provincial and federal health authorities and the World Health
    Organization (WHO). A contingency plan has been implemented in response to the
    phase 5 alert issued by the WHO. Accordingly, Héma-Québec has taken the
    necessary measures to increase its blood products inventory in the coming
    weeks. To do so, objectives have been increased for planned blood drives and
    additional blood drives have been scheduled. The telephone recruitment team
    will thus be contacting donors and inviting them to join Héma-Québec's effort.

    Safety measures

    Safety measures to ensure the safety of the blood supply and the
    selection criteria for blood donors remain unchanged. Anyone with questions
    about giving blood may call Donor Services at 1-800-847-2525.
    Flu viruses-including the influenza A (H1N1) virus-cannot be spread
    through blood transfusions. To date, there have been no reported cases of flu
    infection through blood transfusion.
    Héma-Québec would like to remind the public that blood is still needed
    every day and that there is no risk of contracting a disease by donating
    blood. All of the materials used for collecting blood are new, sterile,
    sealed, and used once. Furthermore, each donated unit of blood is
    systematically analyzed and screened for blood-borne diseases before it is
    delivered to hospitals.

    About Héma-Québec

    Héma-Québec aims to efficiently provide adequate quantities of safe,
    optimal blood components, substitutes, human tissues and cord blood to meet
    the needs of all Quebecers; provide and develop expertise along with
    specialized and innovative services and products in the fields of transfusion
    medicine and human tissue transplantation.
    Héma-Québec is 1,300 employees, some 2,000 blood drives and more than
    300,000 blood donors every year, 16,000 partner volunteers and more than
    450,000 blood products delivered to hospitals in Quebec annually to fulfill
    the needs of patients.

    Give blood. Give life.
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