Division of Hematology: Ottawa Blood Disease Centre

The Ottawa Blood Disease Centre (OBDC) is a world-class facility devoted to improving care for patients with blood disease. As part of the Ottawa Hospital, the Centre provides care for more than thirty thousand Ottawa-area patients with blood disorders and blood cancers, or who require blood or bone marrow transplants.

Based at the Centre for Practice-Changing Research at The Ottawa Hospital’s General Campus, the OBDC opened in its current location in spring 2012. Prior to the opening of the centre, the blood disease team was scattered in nine locations across six buildings on two campuses.

The Centre is a leader in world-class care, research and training in blood diseases. Members of the OBDC have:

  • Developed a procedure for diagnosing vein blood clots that is used around the world (called the Wells Rule, after Dr. Phil Wells) and a procedure to decide who should stay on blood thinners indefinitely after an unprovoked vein blood clot (called the ‚ÄúMen continue and HERDOO2 rule‚ÄĚ).
  • Implemented an innovative outpatient bone marrow transplant program that has allowed thousands of patients to be treated more conveniently without an overnight stay, while freeing up inpatient beds for others.
  • Led a ground-breaking clinical trial of a bone marrow stem cell transplantation therapy for multiple sclerosis, with promising results that have attracted attention around the world.
  • Implemented a comprehensive program for managing blood-thinning medications in people who have a high risk of developing blood clots. Because of this program, patients at TOH have optimal blood thickness 80 per cent of the time, compared to 50 to 60 per cent in many other centres.


 1952  Dr. Smiley becomes first hematologist in Ottawa
 1954  First special hematology clinical research lab established
 1966  First outpatient therapy with cryoprecipitate
 1968  First infusion of frozen blood unit, NDMC
 1970  First meeting of the Canadian Hematology Society, Ottawa
 1973  First Royal College Certification in Hematology
 1974  Founding of stem cell lab research by Dr. Aye
 1975  Clinical Hematology service introduced at the Civic Hospital
 1979  Founding of the Canadian Apheresis Group by Dr. Rock
 1980  Opening of the Ottawa General Hospital
 1981  First bone marrow transplant performed in Ottawa
 1985  First comprehensive Hemophilia Clinic opens
 1989  First Canadian donates marrow to an unrelated recipient
 1990  Hematology training program begins
 1992  Creation of the Division of Hematology
¬†1994 ¬†Outpatient bone marrow transplant program started ‚Äď the first in Canada
 1996  Thrombosis Program started at the Civic
 1998  Hospitals merge to form TOH. Thrombosis Program starts at the General
¬†1999 ¬†TOH performs bone marrow transplant for auto-immune disease ‚Äď the first in Canada
¬†2000 ¬†Bone marrow transplant program is FACT accredited ‚Äďthe first in Canada
¬†2000 ¬†Bone marrow transplant for Multiple Sclerosis ‚Äď the first in Canada
¬†2009 ¬†Dr. Rodger‚Äôs concept of the ‚ÄėOttawa Blood Disease Centre‚Äô endorsed by TOH
 2010  Regional Thrombosis Program started; General Hematology Program created
 2012  Ottawa Blood Disease Centre opens its doors

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