Transgender Donors: Everything You Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask!

Please note: AABB reserves the right to make updates to this program.

Live Program: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - On-Demand Available

Master Program Number: 18EL-301 (see program format numbers below under Registration)

Educational Track: Scientific
Topic: Transfusion Medicine
Intended Audience: Director, Donor Recruitment Staff, Hospitals, Hospital Blood Banks, Laboratory Staff, Managers/Supervisors, Medical Directors, Nurses, Physicians, Resident/ Fellow, Students (MD, MT, SBB), Transfusion Safety Officer
Teaching Level: Basic to Intermediate

Director: Yvette Marie Miller, MD, Executive Medical Officer, American Red Cross, Charlotte, NC
Moderator: Sheila O’Brien, PhD, Associate Director Epidemiology and Surveillance, Canadian Blood Services, Ottawa, ON
Speakers: Asa Radix, MD, MPH, FACP, Director of Research and Education, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, New York, NY; Debra Kessler RN, MS, Director, Special Services, Director, Clinical Trials, Comprehensive Cell Solutions, New York Blood Center, New York, NY; Mary Townsend, MD, Medical Director, United Blood Services, Phoenix, AZ; Yvette Marie Miller, MD, Executive Medical Officer, American Red Cross, Charlotte, NC; Sheila O’Brien, PhD, Associate Director Epidemiology and Surveillance, Canadian Blood Services, Ottawa, ON

Learning Objectives

After participating in this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Present data on the incidence of HIV in the transgender population
  • Discuss donor self-identification and various donor and recipient risks
  • Review results of membership survey on transgender blood donors
  • Discuss donor center specific policies regarding accepting transgender donors

Program Description

In the last year, implementation of policies to accept transgender donors as self-identified have taken various approaches.  In this eCast, the presenters will discuss issues regarding determining the risk profile of transgender donors related to TRALI, review infectious disease data in this population and review of the results of the 2017 transgender donor survey.  Lastly, there will be a discussion on how various blood collection facilities have addressed transgender donor eligibility concerns and explore the need for sensitivity training.


   Program #
Single Viewer: On-Demand Register18EL-301-4035
Group Viewing: On-Demand Register18EL-301-8035

Continuing Education Credit

AABB designates both the live and on-demand version of this eCast each eligible for 1.5 continuing education credit/contact hour for Physicians, General Participation, California Nurse, California Lab Personnel and Florida Lab Personnel. The number and type of credits awarded for this program (both live and on-demand) was determined by the program duration. For more information on each credit type please visit our Continuing Education Credits webpage.

Disclosures for the planners of this event can be found here. Disclosures for the program faculty are provided at the beginning of the program.

Speaker Biographies

Ms. Kessler is a former psychiatric nurse with a Masters Degree in Health Care Administration.  She began work at the New York Blood Center in 1987 and is now the Director of Special Services.  She is responsible for donor notification and counseling regarding infectious disease testing and advises hospital transfusion services about transfusion transmission of infectious diseases. She oversees the NMDP Donor Center at NYBC and is Director of Clinical Trials for Comprehensive Cell Solutions, a subsidiary of NYBC.  Ms. Kessler currently sits on the AABB Board of Directors. She has been the Principle Investigator at NY Blood Center for many studies, been an author on a number of publications and made numerous professional presentations.

Dr. Yvette Marie Miller is currently an Executive Medical Officer for American Red Cross Biomedical Services at the Donor and Client Support Center in Charlotte, N.C., which provides oversight of a host of activities related to blood donor suitability and eligibility, donor and recipient complications management and infectious disease test result reporting for the 36 American Red Cross regions. She has been with the American Red Cross for over 20 years and has served in various positions including regional Medical Director and Apheresis and Clinical Services Medical Director.  

Dr. Sheila O’Brien is currently Associate Director of Epidemiology & Surveillance for Canadian Blood Services and Adjunct Professor at University of Ottawa. Additionally, she is Chair of the AABB Donor History Questionnaire Task Force, Coordinator of Surveillance, Risk Assessment and Policy Subgroup, Transfusion Transmitted Infectious Diseases Working Party for the International Society for Blood Transfusion and a member of the Canadian Standards Association Technical Committee on Blood and Blood Components.

Dr. Radix is the Director of Research and Education at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center and an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at New York University. Originally from the West Indies, Asa trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Connecticut and completed postgraduate qualifications in epidemiology and public health at Cambridge University. Dr. Radix has presented both nationally and internationally on LGBT issues and has published widely in the field of transgender health.  In 2017 he was selected by the Board of Directors of WPATH as Co-Chair of the 8th Revision of the Standards of Care for the Health of Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People.

Dr. Mary Townsend is senior Medical Director at Blood Systems, with a focus on improving the donation experience. She has served on the AABB Uniform Donor History Questionnaire Task Force to help streamline the questionnaire for both donors and blood centers, on the AABB Donor Hemovigilance Committee to help address and reduce donor reactions, and on the Young Donor Adverse Reaction group, also to find ways to reduce adverse events in young donors. Dr. Townsend is also an active member of both the FABC and the ABC Board of Directors.