The Traceback Procedure
Pursuant to Sections 3.03
of the Transfused HCV Plan (Schedule
A), any person making a claim under the Transfused HCV
Plan is required to consent to a Traceback Procedure.
In accordance with Section 3.04 of the Transfused HCV Plan,
a Traceback Protocol
was approved by the Courts on August 18, 2000 and amended
on February 6, 2001 on the recommendation of the Joint Committee.
The Traceback Procedure involves several steps:
- Applying tables devised by a
Court-appointed medical expert to determine whether a
traceback procedure is required. These tables take
into account the person's age, sex, number of units received,
and prior transfusion history.
- Searching existing donor information
records of the Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec
to ascertain whether the donors of the blood you received
have tested positive for the HCV antibody.
- Where information is not available,
contacting the donors to have them tested to see if they
were the source of the infection.
There are a number of factors that may affect the length
of time required to complete a traceback procedure:
- Number of units
transfused to the claimant
- Date of transfusion
- Whether or not donors have
come back to donate after June 1990
- Location of
donors who have not come back after June 1990
of donors to come in for testing
Why is it Necessary? (top)
The Traceback Procedure ensures that only persons
infected by Blood transfusion received between
January 1, 1986 and July 1, 1990, receive benefits
under the 1986-1990 Hepatitis C Settlement Agreement.
When Will the Traceback Procedure Be
Barring exceptional circumstances, the Administrator has
a maximum of 6 months from the date the claim submission
is complete to complete the traceback procedure,
failing which the claim will be approved for payment.
A claim submission is complete once the requirements of
Sections 3.01(1)(a) and (b) of the Transfused Plan and Forms
TRAN 4 and 5 are met.
Who Performs Traceback Procedures?
The Administrator upon receipt of your claim submission
or you and your Physician may initiate Traceback Procedures.
The traceback procedure is performed by Canadian Blood Services
(“CBS”) or Héma-Québec (for transfusions that
took place in the province of Québec). CBS and Héma-Québec
are committed to assist potential class members to receive
compensation in a timely way.
- Canadian Blood Services
CBS is a national, independent, non-profit, charitable
organization whose sole mission is to manage the blood
supply for Canadians.
Héma-Québec has a mission to provide Quebeckers with sufficient
quantities of blood components, derivatives, and substitutes.
Please Note! We advise you not to contact CBS or
Héma-Québec in relation to your Traceback procedure, as
this will not impact the way any specific case is prioritized.
CBS Traceback Program
CBS has set up an internal program, the Litigation Notification
Program (LNP) solely for the purpose of conducting tracebacks
requested by the Administrator appointed to administer the
86-90 Hepatitis C Class Action Settlement. CBS conducts
these tracebacks on an expedited basis in accordance with
the Court approved Traceback Protocol.
The core process by which CBS conducts a traceback investigation
is the same whether the case is an LNP case or not. This
core process must comply with regulatory guidelines and
is subject to audit by Health Canada. An LNP traceback is
simply a truncated form of a traditional traceback investigation
in the sense that CBS investigates only those units which
it is requested to investigate by the Administrator. For
example, in a case where there are no pre-class transfusions,
CBS will stop the LNP traceback investigation upon identifying
one (1) positive donor (who is associated with the class
period transfusion). The traceback investigation will then
be transferred to CBS` regular traceback program for completion.
CBS` LNP traceback Coordinator receives all traceback
requests from the Administrator and directs the requests
to the appropriate Blood Centre, which is then responsible
for conducting the traceback investigation.
How to Read Unit Numbers
Claimants may notice, on occasion, that their unit numbers
as set out in the hospital reports differ slightly from
those set out in the hospital records. An example of how
they differ is as follows:
|Hospital Record Unit Numbers
||Hospital Report Unit Numbers
048294 - 4
The additional number enclosed in brackets at the beginning
of the Hospital Record Unit Number in the first example
and after the hyphen at the end of the Hospital Record Unit
Number in the second example is a "check-digit".The
check-digit allows CBS to verify the unit number. Health
care practitioners and blood bank technicians need not document
the check-digit of transfused products. Except for the check
digit, the unit numbers are the same and are treated as
such by CBS.
Hospital Record Confirmation
In cases where the Administrator has initiated the traceback
procedure, CBS may, if necessary have to confirm transfusion
records with the hospital. CBS will notify the Administrator
when confirmation of the transfusion records is received.
It is standard operating procedure for Héma-Québec to confirm
all transfusion records prior to undertaking the traceback
confirmation is normally required as a result of one or
more of the following:
Results of the Traceback Procedure
- Pursuant to Section
3.04(1) of the Transfused HCV Plan (Schedule
A), if any donor of blood received by a claimant before
1986 tests positive, the Administrator shall not,
at that point, approve the claim.
- The Plan also provides that
if all the donors of the blood received by a claimant
between January 1, 1986 and July 1, 1990 test negative,
the Administrator shall not approve the claim.
The following examples are illustrations of possible traceback
Transfusions Received by the HCV
Infected Person during the CLASS PERIOD ONLY
Claim is Approved
If a donor is tested positive, the traceback procedure
will stop and the Administrator will accept the claim
as directed under the Traceback Protocol. The
claim must otherwise be complete and meet the approval
criteria of the Settlement Agreement.
Claim Must Be Denied
If all donors have been tested and they all
tested negative for HCV, the Administrator must reject
the claim as directed under the Traceback Protocol.
Transfusions Received by the HCV
Infected Person during BOTH the "Pre-Class Period"
and "Class Period"
Claim is Approved
If all donors of the blood received by the
HCV Infected Person during the "pre-class period"
are negative and one donor of the blood received during
the "class period" is positive, the Administrator
will accept the claim, as directed by the Traceback
Protocol. The claim must otherwise be complete
and meet the approval criteria of the Settlement Agreement.
Claim Must Be Denied
If a donor of blood received by the HCV Infected
Person during the pre-class period is tested positive,
the traceback procedure will stop and the Administrator
must reject the claim, as directed by the Traceback
Rejection of a Claim - Appeals
The Administrator may determine that your claim must be
rejected based upon the traceback procedure result.
The Administrator will mail a letter about this determination
to you and further advise that you have the opportunity
to elect to provide further evidence of first infection
by a blood transfusion during the class period by returning
the “election page” attached to the letter.
The “election page” must be returned within
30 days after receipt of the letter. You must then
provide, within the following 6 months your further evidence
of first infection by a blood transfusion during the class
If, after the Administrator has considered the further
evidence of first infection by a blood transfusion during
the class period, your claim is denied, you may then
submit all of the evidence to an independent arbitrator
or referee for determination.