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Date of Award

Fall 2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Geography

Supervisor

Antonio Paez

Co-Supervisor

K. Bruce Newbold

Language

English

Committee Member

Nancy Heddle

Abstract

Blood in Canada is donated by a volunteer base that is increasingly challenged, through a combination of demographic aging and immigration, to meet the needs of the health sector. Canadian Blood Services, the agency with the mandate to manage blood products in Canada with the exception of Quebec, is therefore actively involved in the development of programs to help increase the number of donors, to improve the retention of existing donors, and to increase the frequency of donation of repeat donors. An important factor that influences blood donation is the accessibility to clinics. Accessibility to clinics is determined by the location of clinics, the resources allocated to each clinic in terms of number of beds and hours of operation, and the distribution of the population in the areas serviced by the clinics. The objective of this research is to investigate, given a set of fixed sites for clinic locations and population characteristics, the potential for increasing the donor yield as a function of accessibility. A case study is presented of the Hamilton Census Metropolitan Area, in Canada. Using donor and clinic data provided by Canadian Blood Services, and census information, an objective function is derived by estimating a generalized linear model of donations. The objective function is maximized globally using Genetic Algorithm techniques, subject to total resources available for clinic operations. The results suggest that an optimized allocation of resources to clinic sites has the potential to increase the donor yield by approximately 50% of the current donor base.

McMaster University Library

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