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 Blood Conservation


The blood conservation clinic is part of the Ontario Nurse Transfusion Coordinators Program (ONTraC) which is a Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care initiative to enhance blood transfusion practices and to promote alternatives to blood transfusion in surgical patients.

The Blood Conservation program supports the decrease in need for blood transfusions during scheduled or elective surgery, promotes alternatives to allogeneic (donor) blood transfusions in surgical patients as well as provides education on the risks and benefits to blood transfusion.


Credit Valley Hospital
2200 Eglinton Ave. W.
Mississauga, ON L5M 2N1

Ambulatory Clinics, 3rd Floor

Queensway Health Centre
150 Sherway Dr.
Etobicoke, ON M9C 1A5

2nd floor

Contact Information

Credit Valley Hospital
905-813-1100 ext. 5540

Queensway Health Centre
416-259-6671 ext. 2074


Referral by an ER/Hospital physician is required.

How to Prepare for Your Appointment:

  • Please bring your Health card (OHIP Card). If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license, passport, or other provincial health card).
  • If you were given a medical information package by your doctor bring that with you.
  • Bring your current Medications or a List of All of your Current Medications

Additional Information

Why might a transfusion be needed?
Blood is needed for the human body to work properly. The need for transfusion depends on the kind of condition a patient has. Most transfusions are given to treat anemia (a low blood count) or severe bleeding. The benefit of a transfusion is to improve the patient's condition. When anemia or bleeding is extremely severe, a patient may die if a transfusion is not given.

How is blood transfused?
Blood is given into a vein (usually an arm vein) using a new sterile disposable needle. The transfusion may be of red blood cells, plasma, platelets or other specialized products made from blood. A doctor will decide on the right amount and type of blood product required for treatment.

Is it safe?
Blood transfusion is a common procedure with low risk. Blood is safer than it has ever been, but is not risk-free. Some problems that may occur with transfusion are listed below:

  • Bruising or swelling might occur where the needle is put into the vein.
  • Minor and temporary reactions occur in about 1 in 100 people. These reactions include fever, chills or rash during or shortly after transfusion.
  • All blood is tested for infectious diseases, but there is still a very small risk of disease transmission. The risk of getting HIV is 1 in 7.8 million, Hepatitis B is 1 in 153,000 and Hepatitis C is 1 in 2.3 million. The risk of getting other viruses (known or unknown) is very small.
  • Other rare but serious risks include acute lung injury at 1 in 5,000, anaphylaxis is 1 in 40,000 and errors resulting in the wrong blood being transfused is 1 in 40,000.
  • These risks are small compared to the potential benefits of transfusion. For comparison the chance of dying in a motor vehicle accident is 1 in 10,000 and the chance of death by drowning is 1 in 100,000.

What are the alternatives to transfusion?
Alternatives include patients storing their own blood before surgery, drugs to increase the red blood cells count, and a parent or guardian donating blood for their child. Not all patients can use these alternatives and when bleeding or severe anemia is life-threatening, there is no effective substitute for blood transfusion.
If you are interested in alternatives to transfusion of adults please refer to the information available on the Blood Conservation Clinic at Credit Valley Hospital.
If you have questions or concerns regarding potential transfusion of blood, please contact your doctor.