Blood supply in Manitoba

The blood supply system in Manitoba is part of the national blood supply system. The life cycle of donated blood is referred to as “vein to vein” or from donor to recipient. Click here to watch the vein to vein process.

Did you know

Blood donated in Manitoba can be shipped and used by patients in other provinces.

Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services (CBS) is a national, not-for-profit organization responsible for managing the blood supply in all provinces and territories except Quebec. Hema-Quebec manages the blood supply in Quebec.


CBS has many blood donor clinics in Canada. In Manitoba, CBS has two permanent blood donation clinics (Winnipeg & Brandon) and many mobile blood donor clinics. Some sites offer platelet and plasma donations as well as whole blood donations. To find out about how to donate blood, go to the Canadian Blood Services website.


CBS tests all donated blood to find out its ABO blood group and Rh status. They also test to make sure that blood borne diseases such as Hepatitis and HIV, do not enter the Canadian blood supply.

Blood processing

CBS splits blood into three blood products at its production sites. These blood products are red cells, platelets and plasma.

Plasma is further split to produce more products. These products have many uses such as treating certain illnesses like hemophilia. More information on these products is on the CBS website.

In Manitoba, blood intended for patients is tested in cross-match laboratories.  These laboratories test patient samples to make sure that the patient’s blood will match with the donated blood. There are 5 Diagnostic Services Manitoba (DSM) cross-match laboratories and one located at CBS-Winnipeg.  Blood is stored in a laboratory traditionally known as a blood bank. Blood banks are located across Manitoba.


Before a transfusion, the patient’s physician must get informed consent from the patient or alternate decision maker. Once informed consent and testing are complete, a transfusion can occur but only after verbal and visual confirmation of the patient’s identity.

Sometimes patients have a reaction to blood transfusions. When this happens, there is an investigation to discover the reason for the reaction.

Did you know

All blood products have an expiry date – for red cells, it is 42 days after donation; for platelets, 5 days; and for frozen plasma, 1 year.

Did you know

There can be dangerous consequences if a patient receives the wrong type of blood. To ensure this does not happen there is routine checking of the blood recipient’s identity