Analyzing regular and potential blood plasma donor preferences to improve resource allocation of Canadian collection services

This Health System Impact Fellowship is co-funded by CIHR, Michael Smith Health Research BC, and Blood Services Canada (health system partner), to help build BC’s health policy research capacity for the integration of policy research into decision-making.


Plasma is the liquid component of blood and is collected from donors. It is used for transfusions in hospitals, and for the manufacture of treatments that are used for patients with various chronic and life-threatening conditions. But we currently do not receive enough plasma from donors in Canada, and this will only get worse as the demand for plasma is increasing.


The Canadian Blood Service is considering how to best invest in new donor centres that will increase plasma donations. There are a number of different options to consider — from where to geographically place the centres, to what hours the centres should be open, to what incentives to provide such as free meals. All these options have different costs — from rents and material costs to staff salaries, and it can be hard to predict how impactful these different options will be on overall volume of plasma donated.


This project will survey existing blood donors and non donors to understand the impact of these different options on their willingness to donate. This will enable us to predict what locations, and features will result in the most plasma being donated. We expect people will say they will donate more than they actually do, but because people tend to do this in a predictable way, we will be able to adjust for this. The results of the surveys will be combined with costs in a model. For example, one option (e.g. a centre in a downtown) might be expected to obtain a 20 percent higher volume of donated plasma, but if this comes at an additional 50 percent cost, it might not be the best investment. The model will inform which options and locations are expected to provide the most plasma donation for the CBS investment budget.


Source: CIHR Funding Decisions Database