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Hot Topic Sessions

The 2018 AABB Annual Meeting, to be held Oct. 13-16 in Boston, will offer more than 140 educational programs, including four pre-meeting workshops, five joint sessions and five roundtable discussions. Each year, the AABB Annual Meeting hosts sessions on innovative research in transfusion medicine and cellular therapies and provides on-site confirmation of CME/CE credits and access to networking events where attendees can interact with thousands of colleagues from throughout the world. Attendees include CEOs and medical directors, laboratory supervisors and administrators, transfusion specialists, CT and blood banking professionals, medical technologists, donor recruiters, physicians, nurses and other health care providers.

Listed here are just a few of the key sessions that will be offered to attendees at the 2018 AABB Annual Meeting. View full schedule.

Blood Products: Time to Consider the Inflammatory Side
Transfusion Medicine, Hemostasis, Apheresis, and Cellular Therapy Review Session for Trainees
Every Case Can Teach: Problem-Based Learning and Entrustable Professional Activities
Transfusion Confusion: What to Do When the Genotype Does Not Match the Serologic Phenotype
Management of Perioperative Coagulopathy – Are There Alternatives to Plasma Transfusion?
Extending the Storage of Blood Products
Transfusion Related Adverse Event Rounds: Biovigilance “Bumble” for Kindred Spirits
What Does It Take to be a Female CEO: Breaking the Glass Ceiling
Men Who Have Sex with Men: The Complexity of Compliance
Disaster Potpourri – What Does It Take to Have an Effective Business Continuity Plan?

Blood Products: Time to Consider the Inflammatory Side

Category: Cell Biology, Immunology and Biochemistry
Keywords: Collections and Product Manufacturing | Component Processing | Platelets | Red Cells

Blood product transfusion is one of the most vital treatment in medicine and surgery. Even very safe, we can observe residual clinical manifestations associated with inflammation. One hypothesis proposes that collection mode of blood products, as well as the preparation and storage – storage lesions – are in cause in the immunomodulatory and inflammatory complications of transfusion (e.g. bioactive substances, microparticles, DNA mitochondria, DAMPS). Moreover, a more integrated approach of donor features, transfusion products and recipients could help to understand these effects; transfusions contribute to inflammatory clinical manifestations; however, an inflammatory status of the patient can induce different reactions to transfusion. This session aims to update the knowledge and present the evidence on the relationship between transfusion of blood products (Platelets, Red Blood Cells) and inflammation in recipients. Transfusion and inflammation are in close relationship, then, it is therefore time to consider the inflammatory side of blood products.

At the completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Review the mechanism and evaluate storage lesions in red blood cells and platelets
  • Determine the impact based on inflammation of the storage lesions in recipient
  • Recommend storage process and transfusion protocols based on impact of storage lesions

Program Chair:
Prof. France Pirenne, MD, PhD

EFS Hospital Henri Nondor
Creteil, France

Speakers:
Dr. Eldad A. Hod, MD

Columbia University Medical Center
New York, NY

Dr. Fabrice Cognasse
Etablissement Français du Sang Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes & Université de Lyon
Saint Etienne, France

Why is this a hot topic?Inflammation and its regulation through blood transfusion is a very strong topic in transfusion medicine which will be presented by a leader in the field Fabrice Cognasse, Scientific Director of the French Blood Transfusion System.

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Transfusion Medicine, Hemostasis, Apheresis, and Cellular Therapy Review Session for Trainees

Category: Education
Keywords: Evidence Based Medical Practices | Hematopoietic Cell Therapy/Transplant | Immunohematology (includes serology) | Therapeutic Apheresis | Transfusion Medicine Clinical Practices

Transfusion Medicine, Hemostasis, Apheresis, and Cellular Therapy have been identified as challenging topics for both the examinees attempting the American Board of Pathology examination and pathologists in clinical practice. Additionally, these are important topics for physicians in other specialties, such as hematology and anesthesiology. Moreover, the topics for these areas overlap and thus, a strong foundation in one area will enhance the knowledge in the other. In this session, using a Q&A method, the authors of many chapters in the “Transfusion Medicine, Apheresis, and Hemostasis: Review Questions and Case Studies” board review book, will review 25-30 clinical cases with the participants, from basic to challenging situations. The cases are designed to cover ‘high-yield’ material and ‘diagnostic pearls’ that may be useful for the residents and fellows when taking both Clinical Pathology and Transfusion Medicine board exam. For example, basic regulation and donor qualification criteria will be reviewed. Common pre-transfusion testing and transfusion practice in both adult and pediatric patients will be discussed. Different technical and indications/aspects of apheresis as well as hematopoietic progenitor cell collection will also be reviewed. Finally, common calculations in daily practice of Transfusion Medicine, Hemostasis, Apheresis, and Cellular Therapy are provided.

At the completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Review basic and advanced concepts in Transfusion Medicine, Hemostasis, Apheresis, and Cellular Therapy
  • Apply core knowledge in Transfusion Medicine, Hemostasis, Apheresis, and Cellular Therapy to answer clinical questions
  • Evaluate the learner’s performance and identify areas of weakness on which to focus to prepare for board examinations

Program Chair:
Dr. Huy P. Pham, MD, MPH

Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA

Speaker:
Lawrence Albert Williams III, MD

University of Alabama Birmingham
Birmingham, AL

Why is this a hot topic?
Exciting technical training for Blood Bank students such as Pathology Residents and Transfusion Medicine Fellows.

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Every Case Can Teach: Problem-Based Learning and Entrustable Professional Activities

Category: Education
Keywords: Evidence Based Medical Practices | Professional Development and Training

The methodologies for teaching and evaluating students are evolving. With facts being readily available, the focus is being redirected to the evaluation of information and its integration into problem solving. The classic lecture is being replaced by participatory activities which stress the active involvement of the students. As teachers, we need to learn how to transition our current content and interactions to these new formats. Active teaching models can be based upon guided discussions of materials provided to students, or discussions guided by the investigations performed by the students. With changes in teaching, come changes in what is evaluated. Entrustable professional activities (EPA) requires the instructor to breakdown an activity such as writing a transfusion reaction report into small observable and evaluable sections. In this session the fundamentals of active teaching and EPA will be presented. In addition, real world examples of their use will be shared.

At the completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the problem-based learning models and list learner skills attained through PBL.
  • Propose real-life examples for integrating PBL into a resident rotations.
  • Define entrustable professional activities (EPA) and create an EPA.

Program Chair:
Joanne Becker, MD

Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Buffalo, NY

Speakers:
Joanne Becker, MD

Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Buffalo, NY

Laura Cooling, MD, MS
University of Michigan
University Hospital
Ann Arbor, MI

Gay Wehrli, MD, MBA, MSEd
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

Why is this a hot topic?
Review of a modern training delivery technique.

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Transfusion Confusion: What to Do When the Genotype Does Not Match the Serologic Phenotype

Category: Immunohematology and Genetic Testing (red cells, leukocytes and platelets)
Keywords: Immunohematology (includes serology) | Molecular Diagnostics and Testing | Patient Blood Management | Red Cells | Transfusion Medicine Clinical Practices

DNA extracted from EDTA blood is being used to obtain the molecular genotype that predicts what blood group antigens will be expressed on the patient or donor red cells. We are learning, however, that there can be molecular changes that alter the expression of the predicted antigens. Often these discrepancies are discovered only after blood has been found incompatible in the crossmatch. The standard for finding compatible blood has historically been based upon serologic testing, however, interest is increasing for using only the genotype to select blood for transfusion. Apparent discrepancies and incompatible crossmatches are confusing and may cause a delay in the provision of blood. This program will describe cases where there are discrepancies and will help guide the blood bank technologist on the selection of blood when there are discrepant testing results.

At the completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Describe instances where the genotype is different than the results obtained with commercial antisera when typing red cells.
  • Identify the probable cause for the discrepancy and discuss what can be done for resolving the problem.
  • Select the appropriate blood for transfusion based upon additional testing results.

Program Chair:
Mr. Gregory Ray Halverson, MT(ASCP)

Hoxworth Blood Center
Cincinnati, OH

Speakers:
Christine Lomas-Francis

Immunohematology and Genomics Laboratory, New York Blood Center
Immunohematology and Genomics Laboratory
Long Island City, NY

Dr. Jill Storry, PhD, FIBMS
Clinical Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, Division of Laboratory Medicine, Office of Medical Services
Lund, Sweden

Why is this a hot topic?
Challenging area of transfusion medicine, strong speakers

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Management of Perioperative Coagulopathy – Are There Alternatives to Plasma Transfusion?

Category: Transfusion Service
Keywords: Disorders | Evidence Based Medical Practices | Patient Safety | Perioperative and Anesthesia Transfusion Practices | Transfusion Medicine Clinical Practices

Many clinicians struggle to manage stable, non-bleeding patients with peri-procedural, or “laboratory-defined” coagulopathies. While it has never been proven that the use of common screening tests such as the PT/INR are predictive of bleeding, it is common clinical practice to utilize plasma transfusion or coagulation factor concentrates as a means of “correcting” elevations in these values prior to performing procedures.

Pathologists and other specialists overseeing the transfusion service are often actively consulted regarding appropriate plasma transfusion. This session will briefly review the literature surrounding perioperative coagulopathy management and when/if it is necessary. Assuming that plasma transfusion is given, as occurs often in the clinical setting, the session will also provide the audience with a review of key properties of plasma transfusion and its effects on common screening tests such as the PT/INR. To facilitate ease of use during bedside clinical practice, an innovative web-based calculator will be described, and its usefulness will be demonstrated using actual clinical cases in this session. Finally, the usefulness of alternative methods for directing management, such as coagulation factor concentrates or thromboelastogrphy/rotational thromboelastrometry, will be discussed.

At the completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Summarize of the current status of perioperative coagulopathy management
  • Discuss key properties of plasma transfusion and illustrate the how these properties affect the utility and appropriateness of plasma transfusion
  • Demonstrate the utility of an innovative application designed to reduce unnecessary plasma transfusion through a discussion of clinical scenarios
  • Review alternatives, such as coagulation factor concentrates or thromboelastography/rotational thromboelastrometry, in the management of perioperative coagulopathy

Program Chair:
Dr. Huy P. Pham, MD, MPH

Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA

Speakers:
Prof. Thorsten Haas

Zurich University Children's Hospital
Zurich, Switzerland

Dr. Huy P. Pham, MD, MPH
Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA

Edward Wong
Quest Diagnostics
Chantilly, VA

Why is this a hot topic?
Strong speakers, novel topic

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Extending the Storage of Blood Products

Category: Transfusion Service
Keywords: Collections and Product Manufacturing | Component Processing

Transfusion medicine services struggle with maintaining an adequate inventory especially for blood products with a short shelf-life.

Cryoprecipitated anti-hemophiliac factor, or cryoprecipitate, must be used within 6 hours after thawing for single units or units that were pooled using a sterile connector, and within 4 hours after thawing for units that were pooled in an open system. Because of this short-mandated shelf-life and requirement for thawing, there is often a delay in the administration and unused cryoprecipiate is often discarded. Data regarding the stability and sterility of extended shelf-life cryoprecipitate will be evaluated.

Platelets are only stored for five to seven days before they must be used or discarded. Data regarding the shelf-life and in vitro characteristics of cold-stored platelets will be summarized. Clinical evidence of their superior hemostatic function, particularly for trauma patients will be discussed.

Extended storage RBCs have already been developed. Questions of how best to use extended storage capacity have arisen. Blood collectors may also want to consider an overnight warm hold to consolidate component preparation to a single day shift for saving costs. Critical care physicians may want blood with better recovery limiting exposure to non-transferrin-bound iron. Remote locations may want longer storage.

In this session, the speakers will review recent data addressing platelets, cryoprecipitate, RBCs and plasma that may lead to an extension of the shelf-life of these products.

At the completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Recognize the issues with the short outdate of thawed cryoprecipitate and evaluate the data regarding stability and sterility of extended shelf-life cryoprecipitate.
  • Examine how chilling changes platelet hemostatic function and could allow prolonged storage.
  • Discuss possibilities to extend the storage of RBCs and also alternative ways for prolonging plasma storage.

Program Chair:
Dr. Aaron Tobian, PhD, MD

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Transfusion Medicine Division
Baltimore, MD

Speaker:
Dr. Parvez M. Lokhandwala, MD, PhD

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD

Why is this a hot topic?
Novel ideas about changing our approach to blood product storage, strong speakers

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Transfusion Related Adverse Event Rounds: Biovigilance “Bumble” for Kindred Spirits

Category: Transfusion Services
Keywords: Patient Safety | Recipient/Patient Hemovigilance - Noninfectious Adverse Events (Transfusion Reactions)

This session is a speed dating format to present/discuss cases highlighting use of CDC Surveillance Case definitions. Attendees will move from table to table in small groups in a roundtable format (4-8 attendees with a Patient Safety Advisory Committee member as a Facilitator) will allow focused sharing/ discussions by attendees on particular aspects of HV issues/cases encountered by attendees at their individual institutions.

At the completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Employ the CDC case definitions for coding adverse transfusion reactions.
  • Discuss the imputability of reactions to transfusions.
  • Interpret subtle differences in respiratory transfusion reactions and discuss coding reactions appropriately.

Program Chair:
Dr. Chester Andrzejewski, Jr., PhD, MD, FCAP

Baystate Health/Baystate Medical Center
Springfield, MA

Why is this a hot topic?
Novel round table, interactive approach

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What Does It Take to be a Female CEO: Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Category: Leadership
Keywords: Operations

Women make up 73% of healthcare managers but only 18% of females are hospital CEO’s according to a report from Rock Health. It is anticipated that a 50/50 gender parity won’t be achieved until 2049. This program will explore this gender gap as it pertains to the Blood Bank/Transfusion Medicine industry. Existing opportunities and barriers will be discussed and what options exist for improving diversity and having females advance into leadership positions.

At the completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Discuss opportunities that currently exist for increasing diversity in leadership roles in the industry.
  • Identify what obstacles are present that hinder advancement into female leadership roles.
  • Discuss what can be done to provide mentor ship/ support for an increased female present in senior leadership roles.

Program Chair:
Jean Stanley, MBA, MT(ASCP)SBB, CMQ/OE(ASQ)

Quality Focus
Moraga, CA

Speakers:
Ms. Nancy Eckert, MT(ASCP)SBB

LifeSouth Community Blood Center-Headquarters
Gainesville, FL

Dr. Kim-Anh T Nguyen
Blood Bank of Hawaii
Honolulu, HI

Why is this a hot topic?
Timely topic for female leadership; speakers currently established CEO's of blood centers

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Men Who Have Sex with Men: The Complexity of Compliance

Category: Public Health and Policy
Keywords: Donor Collections | Donor Recruitment and Retention | Patient Safety | Public Health and Policy | Strategic Planning

In 2016 the FDA Guidance “Revised recommendations for reducing the risk of human immunodeficiency virus transmission by blood and blood products” permitted MSM to donate as long as their last sexual encounter was more than 12 months ago (formerly not permitted if “since 1977”). Version 2 of the AABB DHQ and materials included all changes in the Guidance. Many countries with 12 month deferrals are interested in further modifying their policy, either to a shorter deferral period such as the recent change to 3 months in England, or to an Individual Risk Assessment approach in which low risk MSM may be eligible to donate blood. There is increasing evidence that the success of such policies depends on how well donors comply with the deferral. In this session the AABB Donor History Task Force and the International Society for Blood Transfusion Transfusion-Transmitted Infectious Diseases Working Party will present the following:

  • An in-depth description of current research of the psychology of interpretation of risk questions and donors’ ability/willingness to answer them in the blood donation setting. The application of this to inform policy in England will be discussed.
  • An overview of methodology to assess compliance will be presented focusing on studies in the United States. Current data on the evaluation of the impact of implementing the 12 month deferral will included.
  • An overview of policy changes currently being evaluated in Australia with focus on how compliance is implicated.
  • An explanation of how compliance is used in mathematical models to estimate the risk of different potential policies. Examples from an ISBT risk modeling project using data from Canada will be included.

At the completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Appreciate the psychology behind compliance (on non-compliance) with donor screening questions and application to informing policy in England.
  • Describe practical issues in assessment of compliance in blood donors, particularly with the recent implementation of a 1-year deferral in the United States.
  • Explain current considerations and progress towards modifying the MSM policy in Australia
  • Illustrate the application of the estimated donor compliance to risk assessment using examples from Canada

Program Chair:
Sheila O'Brien

Canadian Blood Services
Epidemiology and Surveillance
Ottowa, Ontario

Speakers:
Brian Custer

Blood Systems Research Institute
San Francisco, CA

Prof. Eammon Ferguson, PhD, Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society
University of Nottingham
Nottingham, United Kingdom

Mr. Yves Grégoire, MSc
Héma-Québec
Québec, Québec City

Why is this a hot topic?
Strong speakers and is a very hot topic when determining who and why someone can be a blood donor and how that crosses paths with compliance and not necessarily in a standard application.

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Disaster Potpourri – What Does It Take to Have an Effective Business Continuity Plan?

Category: Management
Keywords: Information Technology (IT, aka Informatics: EHR, LIS) | Operations | Strategic Planning

Each year the number and variety of disasters has increased. Previously we used to think of disasters in terms of natural events such as hurricanes, earthquakes and floods. However, natural events have increased with the addition of wild fires, mud slides, and weather bombs. Sadly, the types of disaster have also broadened with mass shootings, bombings, and the threat of a nuclear disaster which can no longer be ignored. Even attacks on IT systems through hacking and the release of destructive computer viruses can cause irreparable harm. Are we prepared to address these disasters and attacks when they happen? Come learn what AABB, the US government and one blood center are doing to prepare for some of these new threats.

At the completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Explain how AABB is working with governmental agencies to prepare for disasters.
  • Describe CDC’s recommendations for preparing for a nuclear attack.
  • Describe how blood centers can protect themselves from cyber-attacks.

Program Chair:
Mr. Marc James Pearce, MBA

Creative Testing Solutions
Tempe AZ

Speaker:
Mr. John B Holder, MTS, CISM, CISA, ITILF V3

OneBlood, Inc.
St. Petersburg, FL

Why is this a hot topic?
This session will address some of the administrative aspects to support operations and inventory for these unplanned scenarios.

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