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Letter to the AMA on Cord Blood Banking - 11/16/07

November 16, 2007


Ronald M. Davis, MD


American Medical Association

515 N. State Street

Chicago, IL   60610


Mark A. Levine, MD


Council on Ethical And Judicial Affairs

American Medical Association

515 N. State Street

Chicago, IL   60610


Dear Drs. Davis and Levine:


AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks) applauds the AMA’s recent adoption of new ethical guidelines for physicians when discussing donation of cord blood with their patients.  All steps taken to encourage donation to cord blood banks assists in the collection and maintenance of genetically diverse, high-quality umbilical cord blood units in the National Cord Blood Inventory.


AABB is one of two accrediting agencies accepted by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) to accredit cord blood banks.  AABB supports their efforts to increase the availability of high-quality cord blood units by setting standards and accrediting facilities involved in collection, processing and storage of cord blood units including public cord blood banks.


AABB has been setting standards for over 50 years and has promulgated standards for facilities involved in the collection, processing and storage of hematopoietic progenitor cells since 1991. These standards include not only technical requirements but a quality management system that is consistent with the concepts of the internationally accepted ISO 9000/9001 ensuring that the accredited facilities operate under a program of continuous improvement.  The AABB Accreditation Program is recognized internationally as a seal of quality for cord blood banks and assesses each facility every two years for conformance to the standards.  Public advocacy is a strong component of our services.  AABB also provides education on our rigorous standards to individuals considering cord blood donation.  Again, AABB welcomes the endorsements made by the AMA. 


AABB would like the opportunity to meet with you or the appropriate committees within your organization to explore collaborative efforts in support of cord blood banking. Our mission is to enhance patient safety in this arena through our laboratory and biologics expertise.  AABB believes this is consistent with AMA’s efforts and that there are multiple opportunities to collaborate for the benefit of patients in this regard.


I will call, Dr. Davis to initiate this discussion.  In the meantime, should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 1.301.215.6501 or




Karen Shoos Lipton, JD