12/07/2012 09:53 EST | Updated 02/06/2013 05:12 EST

Blood equipment manufacturer issues warning

The company responsible for last week's Quebec blood quarantine is asking health staff to closely check equipment for any defects.

Haemonetics, a U.S.-based company that manufactures blood-processing equipment, sent a letter to its customers yesterday. It warns health practitioners of a potential leak in the company's blood-collecting equipment, specifically in the plastic Y-connectors.

The letter states that there is potential for "very low frequency" leaks as a result of potential manufacturing flaws such as pin holes and molding defects.

Héma-Québec has confirmed that the defects were the reason nearly half of its blood reserves were shelved last week.

According to a statement released by Haemonetics, the health risk is minimal and there have been no reports of "adverse events" to date.

Health officials have been instructed to examine blood donation kits and discard any found to have defects. If any defects are found after blood has been collected, the company instructs health officials to discard any blood collected as well.

Dozens of non-urgent surgeries were cancelled and delayed at hospitals across Quebec last week after hospitals were warned of the potential leaks.

No blood was found to be contaminated.