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Glossary of Terms, Definition and Acronyms

1. Glossary

ACD-A Apheresis Frozen PlasmaApheresis fresh frozen plasma is collected into 70-90 ml anticoagulant citrate dextrose formula A (ACD-A) using automated apheresis techniques. The plasma is frozen within eight hours of collection.
Adverse Event/ReactionAn undesirable and unintended occurrence during or after the administration of blood or during or after a blood donation.
AITDActive Inpatient Treatment Days
AgglutinationThe clumping and sticking together of normally free cells or bacteria or other small particles forming visible aggregates
Allogeneic PersonBlood collected from an individual for transfusion to another undesignated person
ANHAcute normovolemic hemodilution: autologous blood collected just prior to surgery (perioperatively).
ApheresisA process where a specific component(s) of blood are harvested, and the rest is returned to the donor (or patient). The procedure is for both blood donation (e.g. plasmapheresis) and therapeutically for certain patient groups.
AutologousBlood is collected from an individual for transfusion back to the same individual at a later time.
Blood centreA facility that collects blood or blood components intended for transfusion, but not perioperative collections.  Usually tests, stores and distributes as well.
Blood componentA portion of a blood donation intended for transfusion (e.g., RBCs, granulocytes, platelets, plasma; contained in bags) that can be prepared in a blood centre.
Blood productAny therapeutic substance prepared from human blood (I.e. component or PPRP).
Biohazard ContainerA container approved by the Laboratory Safety Committee that can be used to prevent potential exposure to biohazardous material.  
Buffy coatThe portion of anticoagulated blood that contains most of the WBCs and platelets after centrifugation. It is pale cream or “buff” coloured.
CalibrationComparison of a measurement system or device of unknown accuracy to a measurement system or device of known accuracy (traceable to national standards).  E.g. thermometers, scales, timers, centrifuges.
Change controlA formal process that ensures changes to a product or system are introduced in a controlled and coordinated manner to minimize operational impacts.
Circular of InformationBlood component labelling that provides directions for storage and use, contraindications and possible adverse effects. This information may also be provided in auxiliary documents.
Closed SystemA blood collection system for collecting and/or processing blood in containers that have been connected together before sterilization so that there is minimal possibility of bacterial or viral contamination from outside after collection of blood from the donor.
Clinically significant antibodyAn antibody that is associated with Hemolytic Disease of the Fetus and Newborn (HDFN) and/or hemolytic transfusion reactions (HTR) with decreased RBC survival. 
CompatibilityProcesses performed before transfusion to ensure that a blood component testing will not produce a harmful antibody reaction with the recipient’s blood. Tests may include ABO and Rh grouping, antibody screen and crossmatch.
Corrective actionCorrective action is a reactive approach where action is taken in response to an identified problem; the problem has already occurred. It ensures that problems, customer complaints or other nonconformities are identified, documented, analyzed, resolved and that an evaluation of the solution takes place. Modifications to the corrective plan may occur because of the evaluation.
CrossmatchThe process used to detect incompatibilities between donor and recipient blood prior to transfusion.
Computer (electronic) crossmatchComputerized procedure that is used in place of a serologic crossmatch to detect ABO incompatibility (applicable only if antibody screen is negative)
Serologic  crossmatchIn vitro test performed between donor red cells (from a segment removed from the RBC unit) and recipient’s serum or plasma (from the group and screen blood sample) to determine compatibility
CryoprecipitateA plasma component produced from frozen plasma and containing a specified amount of fibrinogen.
Cryosupernatant Plasma (CSP)The transfusable plasma product resulting from cryoprecipitate production.
Designated donationDonations planned and/or selected for medical reasons for transfusion to a specific recipient. The donor and recipient are unknown to each other (E.g. IgA deficient donor, rare phenotype).
Directed donationThe process whereby the blood is collected from a specific donor to a specific recipient. The donor has been selected by or for the recipient.
Distributiona process of sending blood components or blood products from their source or from a storage location to another location hwere they will be stored or used.
IssueReleasing a blood component or blood product from a transfusion service to a specific patient for purposes of transfusion
TransferSending a blood component or product from one facility to another or from a transfusion service to a fridge or temperature monitored device within the same facility for purposes of storage
Donation CodeThe unique group of numbers, letters, symbols or a combination of these that an establishment assigns to a unit of blood at the time of collection
Donor    A person who donates blood for transfusion.
Donor Identification CodeThe unique group of numbers, letters or symbols, or combination of these that an establishment assigns to a donor
Error       A deviation from Standard Operating Procedures.
FacilityEstablishments that collect, process or provide blood and/or blood products for                                      transfusion purposes. E.g. blood centres, transfusion services, storage facilities.
Fresh frozen plasma (FFP)Plasma stored at -18⁰C or colder within 8 hours of donation (the donation start time).
Frozen plasma (FP)Plasma stored at -18⁰C or colder within 24 hours of donation (the donation start time).
HDFNHemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn.
Health FacilityAn establishment that provides medical services. E.g. hospitals, clinics, long term care facilities, dental office etc.
HospitalA hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment. For ORBCoN’s purposes a ‘hospital’ is defined as an institution with a MAK code.
Transfusion Service An entity that performs pretransfusion serological testing or is involved in the provision of blood components or blood products and their transfusion or administration.
Issue       Releasing blood components/products from the transfusion services’-controlled temperature environment to a recipient.
LookbackA procedure that investigates previous donations from any blood donor found to have a transfusion-transmitted infection. All organizations, attending physicians and recipients are notified.
Massive TransfusionA transfusion volume equal or greater to the recipient’s blood volume that was transfused within 24 hours.
Medical directorA licensed physician who is responsible for all clinical and laboratory policies for processes and procedures.
MAK CodeNumber assigned to each hospital by CBS information system (MAK Progesa).
NAITNeonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia.
NeonateAn infant that is less than 4 months of age.
Nonconformance                 A deviation from policies, processes or procedures resulting in a noncompliance to the established quality management system.
Operating ProcedureA thorough, step by step documentation of a procedure
OrganizationSee facility
Packing slip/voucherThe document(s) that accompany blood or blood products during shipping
Pasteur PipetteAlso known as droppers; glass or plastic pipettes that are used with a bulb for transfer of small volumes of liquids; the pipet typically tapers to a narrow opening; in various lengths and plugged and unplugged formats
Pathogen Reduced Pooled Platelet ComponentPlatelets that undergo treatment with platelet additive solution (PAS), photoactive compounds and UV illumination to intercalate DNA and RNA from cells and pathogens within a range of concentrations to inactivate pathogens.
Perioperative blood collectionAutologous blood collection just prior, during or immediately following trauma or surgery: acute normovolemic hemodilution (ANH), intraoperative and post-operative harvest.
Plasma protein products (PPPs)Plasma protein products that are either derived from pools of human or animal plasma or through a recombinant process. E.g. Albumin, Factor VIII, IVIG contained in boxes, bottles and syringes.
PlateletsA transfusable cellular product containing a high proportion of platelets prepared by pooling platelets derived from whole blood donation or collected from apheresis donation.
PolicyA document that guides decisions or action.  
Positive Patient Identification Technology(PPID)Refers to a computerized system that scans a barcode, radiofrequency identification (RFID) or another electronically readable element on a patient’s identification band to confirm identity
Post-donation information (PDI)Information sent to transfusion facilities concerning a donor or donation acquired by the blood service post donation. (E.g. A donor feeling ill with the flu 2 days post donation).
Preventative measures/actionPreventative measures are proactive, rather than reactive is in corrective action. Preventative measures are processes that identify potential problems or nonconformances and eliminates them before they occur. Effective quality management systems identify potential issues.
PretransfusionSee compatibility testing.
ProcedureA series of tasks/steps performed to generate a result or product.
ProcessA series of procedures that take place to produce an outcome/goal.
Process control   Establishment of processes and activities that minimize variation to produce a quality output that meets specifications.
Proficiency testingA component of quality assurance that assesses the performance of a laboratory where independently prepared, unknown samples are tested and compared to the known results.
Quality assuranceThe planned and systematic activities surrounding quality planning, control, assessment, reporting and improvement demonstrate that all activities that affect a product or service meet established quality standards and regulations.
Quality controlThe routine testing and monitoring of materials, equipment, blood and blood products and activities to ensure continuous specified performance requirements are met and eliminate causes of poor performance.
Quality indicatorsMetrics or data used to monitor progress towards an organization’s stated quality goals and objectives.
Quality managementApplication of a quality system in managing the structure, processes and procedures used to direct and control the quality activities of an organization. Includes strategic planning, allocation of resources, quality planning, implementation and evaluation.
Quality system    A formalized system that defines and documents the organizational structure, responsibilities, procedures, instructions, processes, and resources involved in the implementation of quality management.
Quality system essentialsKey factors that apply to a quality system (e.g. organization and leadership, suppliers and materials management, human resources).
QuarantineSegregation of blood or blood products that are unsuitable for transfusion
RecordA document containing recorded information (writing or electronic) that provides evidence an activity has been performed.
Red blood cells (RBCs)Pertains to a blood component containing mostly RBCs with minimal plasma. Some examples of RBC units available are: SAG-M, washed, deglycerolized.
SalineCan be labelled as “Buffered or Normal” Saline. Saline is intended for use in immunohematological procedures or as a general laboratory diluent. The active ingredient is sodium chloride 0.90% w/v, pH 6.0-7.5 at 25°C. It is a non-sterile isotonic solution, 0.90% w/v, not suitable for any in vivo use or patient transfusion.
Serious adverse reactionAn extreme adverse event with at least one of the following characteristics: requires hospitalization or extended hospitalization for an in-patient, results in persistent or significant disability, requires surgical or medical intervention, is life-threatening or results in death.
Shipping containerA container used to ship blood or blood products.
TracebackA procedure that investigates a report of a suspected transfusion-associated infection in a patient in order to identify a potential implicated donor. A traceback will determine whether any donor who contributed to the transfusion is infected, permit retrieval of all available blood components contributed by that donor and notifies consignees and recipients of components collected from that donor.  
ValidationDocumented assurance that new, changed or challenged processes and procedures are capable of consistently meeting established performance standards and specified requirements before implementation.



AABB Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies
AC Diagnostics Accreditation Canada Diagnostics
AERSAdverse Event Reporting System
BBBlood Bank
BTSBlood Transfusion Service
CADTHCanadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health
CBSCanadian Blood Services
CIHICanadian Institute for Health Information
CSACanadian Standards Association
CSTMCanadian Society for Transfusion Medicine
HCHealth Canada (now PHAC Public Health Agency of Canada)
ICESInstitute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
IQMHInstitute for Quality Management in Health Care (now AC Diagnostics)
ISBTInternational Society of Blood Transfusion
LISLaboratory Information System
LHINLocal Health Integration Network
MERS-TMMedical Event Reporting System Transfusion Medicine
MOHMinistry of Health
NACNational Advisory Committee on Blood and Blood Products
NBCPCNational Blood Coordinating Programs Collaborative
NSBCPNova Scotia Blood Coordinating Program
OBACOntario Blood Advisory Committee
OBCOntario Blood Collaborative
OLAOntario Laboratory Accreditation
ONTraCOntario Transfusion Coordinators Program
PATBProvincial Agencies Trillium Gift of Life Network/Blood Specialized Programs
PHACPublic Health Agency of Canada
QMSQuality Management System
QSEQuality Systems Essentials
SOPStandard Operating Procedure
TCTransfusion Committee
TESSTransfusion Error Surveillance System
TMTransfusion Medicine
TMLTransfusion Medicine Laboratory
TMSTransfusion Medicine Service
TraQTransfusion Medicine Quality Management Program
TSTransfusion service
TTITransfusion Transmitted Infection
TTISS-ONOntario Transfusion Transmitted Injuries Surveillance System
TOSSTissue and Organs Surveillance System


AFFPApheresis Fresh Frozen Plasma
F7aFactor VIIa (Niastase)
F8Factor VIII
F9Factor IX
FCFibrinogen Concentrate
FFPFresh Frozen Plasma
FPFrozen Plasma
HBIGHepatitis B Immune Globulin
IGImmune Globulin
IgGImmune Globulin class G
IVIGIntravenous Immune Globulin
LRLeukocytes reduced
PCCProthrombin Complex Concentrates
PLTAPlatelets Apheresis
PPRPPlasma Protein and Related Products
RBCRed Blood Cells
RhIGRh Immune Globulin
SCIGSubcutaneous Immune Globulin


COVID-19Coronavirus Disease
HBVHepatitis B Virus
HBsAgHepatitis B surface antigen
HCVHepatitis C Virus
HIVHuman Immunodeficiency Virus
HTLVHuman T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus
RSVRespiratory Syncytial Virus
SARSSevere Acute Respiratory Syndrome
SARS-CoV-2Coronavirus Disease -COVID-19
vCJDVariant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease
WNVWest Nile Virus

2.4 Transfusion Medicine Commonly Used Terms/Clinical Conditions

AIHAAutoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
ALIAcute Lung Injury
ANHAcute Normovolemic Hemodilution
CASCold Agglutinin Syndrome
CIDPChronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
DATDirect Antiglobulin Test
DICDisseminated Intravascular Coagulation
DHTRDelayed Hemolytic Transfusion Reaction
FNHTRFebrile Non-Hemolytic Transfusion Reaction
HgbSSickle Cell Hemoglobin
HDFNHemolytic Disease of the Fetus and Newborn
HLAHuman Leukocyte Antigen
HITHeparin Induced Thrombocytopenia
HPAHuman Platelet Antigen
HTRHemolytic Transfusion Reactions
HUSHemolytic Uremic Syndrome
IATIndirect Antiglobulin Test
IgAImmunoglobulin class A
IgGImmunoglobulin class G
ISBTInternational Society for Blood Transfusion
ITPIdiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
LISSLow Ionic Strength Saline
MGMyasthenia Gravis
MHPMassive Hemorrhage Protocol
NAITNeonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia
NATNucleic Acid Testing
PEGPolyethylene glycol
PIDPrimary Immune Deficiency
PPIDPositive Patient Identification
PLEXPlasma Exchange (plasmapheresis)
PPHPost Partum Hemorrhage
PTPPost Transfusion Purpura
SCDSickle Cell Disease
SIDSecondary Immune Deficiency
SOTSolid Organ Transplant
TADTransfusion Associated Dyspnea
TACOTransfusion Associated Circulatory Overload
TA-GvHDTransfusion Associated Graft Versus Host Disease
TKVOTo keep vein open
TRALITransfusion Related Acute Lung Injury
TTPThrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura


  1. CSA Z902-20 Blood and Blood Components. Canadian Standards Association. Toronto;2020
  2. Guidance Document: Blood Regulations, Health Canada. Ottawa; 2023