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INTRODUCTION

Despite the improved screening tests developed in recent years for infectious diseases for blood donors, there still remains a theoretical residual risk of transmission of transfusion-related viruses from single blood components. This mainly relates to donors in the window period of infection and the possible emergence of new pathogens. Octaplas is a virus-inactivated form of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) that, as a consequence of its means of preparation, reduces the risk of transfusion-related viral infections, thereby improving safety. The Canadian Blood Services, which is the distributor of all blood products for nine Canadian provinces and three territories, has been considering a broadening of its product coverage to include Octaplas as an alternative to FFP for certain indications. While several publications claim the in vitro equivalence of Octaplas and FFP in terms of clotting factor activities, the clinical effectiveness of this blood product in the treatment of various indications is not well understood or researched.

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