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President’s Message

November 2017

Dear CSTM Members,

As we head into the fall and winter season, it is time to once again update membership on the activities and initiatives underway by the board of directors and our very active society.
Our most recent education day was held Sept 9th 2017 in Sydney on beautiful Cape Breton Island. The approximately 100 attendees enjoyed a very informative and engaging program. Presentation topics included transfusion guidelines, stories from CBS, IVIG hemolysis, clinical considerations in neonatal transfusion, and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. The presentations with audio are now available on the website.
CSTM has now purchased an ISBT affiliate membership. An important benefit of the ISBT affiliate membership is access to a suite of material on the ISBT’s educational platform, the Academy ePortal. On the ePortal you will find an international guideline library, an educational eBook, and webcasts from various ISBT congresses. All in all, the Affiliate Suite presents useful basic knowledge on a wide range of topics related to transfusion medicine. A separate email will follow with details on how to access the ePortal. This information is also now posted on the CSTM Resources page.

Immediately following publication of the CSTM Standards version 4.0, the standards committee set to work developing a guidance document. This document will include guidance on the standard statements that generated the most questions from membership. These include: documentation and recording of storage temperatures, segregated storage areas, and recipient notification. Stay tuned for details on availability and format of this document, anticipated to be available in late 2017 or early 2018.

In an effort to remove potential cost barriers of purchasing the new version of the CSTM standards at individual sites/institutions and to ensure it is available to support safe transfusion practice at all facilities across Canada, the CSTM would like to thank the provinces/territories/organizations who have purchased a licensed pdf copy to be shared with all facilities in their jurisdictions. A listing of the provinces/territories/organizations will be posted on the CSTM Standards page. If your institution is part of one of these provinces/territories/organizations and you would like a licensed pdf copy, please contact your provincial/territory/organization lead for details on how to obtain this licensed pdf.

We look forward to welcoming the world to Toronto for the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) Congress June 2-6, 2018.  For those who have not attended an ISBT Congress before, the program and schedule of events will look different than the CSTM Annual Conference. The ISBT Local Day on Saturday June 2nd provides the host country with the opportunity to showcase local topics of interest. Our Local Day will showcase the history of transfusion and highlight presenters from our Canadian transfusion community and include the CSTM AGM and award presentations. Congress details have recently been posted to the Events page of the website. We will return to our traditional annual scientific conference May 30-June 2, 2019 in Calgary.
Choosing Wisely Canada has asked organizations to share several implementation toolkits that have been developed by clinicians. These toolkits are intended to provide just enough information to get you started on a Choosing Wisely initiative. You may be familiar with the first one listed!

Why Give Two When One Will Do
Don't transfuse more than one red cell unit at a time when transfusion is required in stable, non-bleeding patients.
A toolkit for reducing unnecessary red blood cell transfusions in hospitals. Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Lakeridge Health in Ontario reduced transfusion rates by 31% using the approach in this toolkit.

Choosing Wisely Implementation Guide: A Beyond the Mask Project
Don't order unnecessary pre-transfusion testing (type and screen) for all preoperative patients.
Developed by Ontario's Anesthesiologists, this implementation guide was created to support anesthesiology departments in implementing the Canadian Anesthesiology Society's CWC recommendations.

Drop the Pre-Op
Don't order unnecessary pre-transfusion testing (type and screen) for all preoperative patients.
A toolkit for reducing unnecessary visits and investigations in pre-operative clinics. North York General Hospital achieved a sustained 30-40% reduction in preoperative assessments and investigations using the approach in this toolkit.

On behalf of the CSTM board of directors, I wish you a safe and happy winter season and all the best in 2018.

Darlene Mueller
President, CSTM Board of Directors