March 2017 Newsletter

March Newsletter

The ORBCoN Report Newsletter:
Introduction to New Format 

By: Denise Evanovitch, ORBCoN Regional Manager, SW Ontario
As the world of technology evolves, ORBCoN endeavours to change with it. In the early days of ORBCoN, we issued a paper-based newsletter twice a year (The ORBCoN Report) and shipped paper copies to each of our 158 Ontario hospitals with transfusion services.


Later, we heard from some of our hospital contacts and our Steering Committee that we should consider being less paper based, and focus more on electronic technology. The reasons were two-fold: environmental reasons (less paper and a reduction in our carbon footprint) and many customers actually prefer an electronic format. A hospital survey demonstrated that there were no strong objections to this new format, so ORBCoN began issuing their newsletter electronically twice a year.


In today’s world, the rapid rate of change and the need to provide more timely information continues to accelerate. In order to meet this need and be flexible in sharing information with our hospitals, ORBCoN’s newsletter format is evolving once again. We will be issuing short articles on a monthly basis. The name of our newsletter remains the same and you can locate it on


If you do not wish to subscribe, please select 'unsubscribe from this list' at the bottom of this newsletter. You will still be able to access our newsletter on our website even if you do not receive our reminders.


If there are topics of interest you would like to hear more about, feel free to contact your local ORBCoN office by email or telephone.

We hope you enjoy our more timely delivery of the most current transfusion information.

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Taking Stock: Platelets, Plugs and Pods

By: Lisa Mantifel, ORBCoN NE
Platelets are an important component of blood that help with clotting and deserve special attention. In healthy people platelets circulate and are also stored in organs such as the spleen for bleeding emergencies. Patients who experience prolonged bleeding or platelet destruction may require large quantities of platelets. Platelets can be challenging to manage due to the short shelf life and being stored at room temperature.  


The ORBCoN Provincial Platelet Audit project is a key activity of the provincial blood utilization strategy to improve blood management. ORBCoN launched the audit on January 9th of this year and it will run until April 7th, 2017. A web-based audit tool has been created to capture the data of the audit results by hospital sites. If your site is a part of this audit, then congratulations are in order! You are moving Ontario forward in the management of a critical blood component that is often in short supply. The goal of this audit and subsequent data analysis is to create a strategy for Ontario to ensure patients have access to platelets when they need them and that they are only transfused when appropriate.


The International Collaboration for Transfusion Medicine Guidelines (ICTMG) has posted a three-part podcast series titled “Platelets Unplugged: The Sticky Truth”.  The series covers the introduction of two new platelet transfusion guidelines recently published by the AABB (formerly American Association of Blood Banks) and the ICTMG. The podcast series can be accessed through the ORBCoN website in a recently added section called “Interesting Podcasts”. You can access this section under the ORBCoN Resources tab at to listen in and hear more about platelets! 

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