Nancy Heddle, MSc, FCSMLS(D)

Nancy Heddle has a Masters degree in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University and is a distinguished fellow of the Canadian Society of Medical Laboratory Science.In 2010 she became a full Professor in the Dept. of Medicine, McMaster University.

She has published over 100 scientific papers, given over 100 national and international presentations, and currently holds significant funding for research in the field of blood transfusion.

In 2005 Nancy became an associate editor of Transfusion and in 2009 was awarded the International Woman in Transfusion Award.

She is also the Team Leader, Clinical Studies, BEST Collaborative

For many years she was the Manager of the Transfusion Service at McMaster Medical Centre Medical Centre in Hamilton and in 1999 was appointed as the Manager of Transfusion Medicine for the Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program.In 2001, Nancy took on a new challenge as the Director of the Transfusion Research Program at McMaster University. She is a Professor in the Department of Medicine and an Associate Member of the Departments of Pathology and Molecular Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University. She is also an Adjunct Scientist with Canadian Blood Services.

In her current position Nancy works with a talented group of researchers who have contributed to the success of the Transfusion Research Program at McMaster University. This group combines both quantitative and qualitative methodological techniques to address a wide variety of transfusion-related questions to provide a bench-to-bedside evidence-based approach to transfusion medicine practice.

Quantitative research approaches use both experimental and non-experimental research designs ranging from surveys to cohort studies, to randomized controlled trials.Current areas of interest which utilize these techniques include:

  • adverse effects to blood transfusion

  • determining the optimal dose for platelet transfusion
  • optimal transfusion trigger thresholds

Qualitative approaches are being used to address several questions related to blood donor research including

  • optimal approaches for deferral of blood donors and recruitment of blood donors
  • exploring the effectiveness of hospital Transfusion Committees
  • development of a clinical history assessment tool (CHAT) to assist in standardized documentation of clinical information from patients with bleeding disorders

The research group is also involved in a major Quality Management Project funded through the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to develop quality essential tools that can be used to ensure standardization and optimal transfusion practices within the hospital setting. Blood utilization is also a primary focus of the Transfusion Research Program at McMaster University.

Selected Publications

2009 Traore AN, Delage G, McCombie N, Robillard P, Heddle NM, Hyson C, Goldman M. Clinical and laboratory practices in investigation of suspected transfusion-transmitted bacterial infection: a survey of Canadian hospitals. Vox Sang 2009 Feb;96(2): 157–9.

2008 Heddle NM, Cook RJ, Tinmouth A, Kouroukis CT, Hervig T, Klapper E, Brandwein JM, Szczepiorkowski ZM, Aubuchon JP, Barty RL, Lee KA. A randomized controlled trial comparing standard and low-dose strategies for transfusion of platelets (SToP) to patients with thrombocytopenia. Blood2008 Dec 24. [Epub ahead of print]

2008 Heddle NM, Liu Y, Barty R, Webert KE, Whittaker S, Gagliardi K, Lauzon D, Owens W. Factors affecting the frequency of red blood cell outdates: an approach to establish benchmarking targets. Transfusion 2009 Feb; 49(2):219–26.

2007 Heddle NM, Ness P. Clinical research design and reporting: always room for improvement! Transfusion. 2007 Jan;47(1):2-3.

2006 Arnold DM, Heddle NM, Kulczycky M, Carruthers J, Sigouin C, Blajchman MA. In vivo recovery and survival of apheresis and whole blood-derived platelets: a paired comparison in healthy volunteers.Transfusio. 2006 Feb;46(2):257-64.

2005 Heddle NM, Cook RJ, Blajchman MA, Barty RL, Sigouin CS, Boye DM, et al. Assessing the effectiveness of whole blood-derived platelets stored as a pool: a randomized block noninferiority trial. Transfusion 2005 Jun;45(6):896-903

2005 Heddle NM, Barty RL, Sigouin CS, Boye DM, Nelson EJ, Blajchman MA, Kelton JG. In vitro evaluation of prestorage pooled leukoreduced whole blood-derived platelets stored for up to 7 days. Transfusion 2005 Jun;45(6):904-10.

2004 Heddle NM. Universal leukoreduction and acute transfusion reactions: putting the puzzle together.Transfusion 2004 Jan;44(1):1-4.

2003 Heddle NM, Cook RJ, Webert KE, Sigouin C, Rebulla P; Biomedical Excellence for Safer Transfusion Working Party of the International Society for Blood Transfusion. Methodologic issues in the use of bleeding as an outcome in transfusion medicine studies. Transfusion. 2003 Jun;43(6):742-52.

2003 Dzik WH, Murphy MF, Andreu G, Heddle N, Hogman C, Kekomaki R, Murphy S, Shimizu M, Smit-Sibinga CT; Biomedical Excellence for Safer Transfusion (BEST) Working Party of the International Society for Blood Transfusion. An international study of the performance of sample collection from patients. Vox Sang 2003 Jul;85(1):40-7.

2002 Heddle NM. Evidence based clinical reporting: A need for improvement. (Editorial) Transfusion 2002; 42:1106-10.

2002 Couban S, Andreou P, Klama L, Carruthers J, Barr R, Kelton JG, Heddle NM. A randomized prospective crossover trial of plasma removal to reduce the frequency of acute platelet transfusion reactions in children. Transfusion 2002; 42:754-8.

2002 Heddle NM,Blajchman MA, Meyer R, Lipton J, Walker I, Sher GD, Constantini L, Patterson B, Roberts R, Thorpe K, Levine M. A randomized controlled trial comparing the frequency of acute reactions and post transfusion platelet recovery of plasma removed and pre-storage leukoreduced platelets. Transfusion 2002; 42:556-66.

1999 Heddle NM, Klama L, Meyer R, Walker I, Boshkov L, Roberts R, ChambersS, Podlosky L, O’Hoski P, Levine M.A randomized controlled trial comparing plasma removal with leukoreduction to prevent reactions to platelets. Transfusion 39:231-8.

1998 Heddle NM.Cytokines in platelet concentrates.Hematology 2:473-84.

1997 Heddle NM, Kelton JG, Smaill F, Foss K, Everson J, Janzen C, Walker WEC, Jones M, Hammons D. A Canadian hospital-based HIV/hepatitis lookback notification program. CMAJ 157:149-53.


2009 International Woman in Transfusion Award

2002 Distinguished Fellowship Award, Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science

1999 Alumni Award of Distinction, Health Services, Mohawk College, Hamilton, Ontario

1998 Elmer L. DeGowin Lectureship in Blood Banking, University of Iowa

1998 Ortho Award in Transfusion Medicine, Canadian Society for Transfusion Medicine

1996 Gold Medal Award, Canadian Society of Laboratory Technologists

1990 Trillium Award, Ontario Society of Medical Technologists