LAKE ZURICH, Ill. and BETHESDA, Md., September 12, 2011 – Blood collection professionals are the connection between blood donors and life-saving blood therapies. Because of this vital connection, tens of thousands of lives in the United States are saved each day.
Blood donors and blood collection professionals understand what a responsibility it is to be prepared for life's unpredictable medical moments. Thanks to their commitment, blood is available to help save lives when tragic events — such as car accidents, natural disasters or serious illnesses — require blood transfusions.
Blood-collection professionals are being recognized in communities worldwide September 11-19, 2011, as part of the 7th Annual Blood Collectors Week, sponsored jointly by Fenwal, Inc. and AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks).
During this week, blood centers will host celebrations, often with local government officials, to recognize their staffs and donors.
With the Labor Day weekend behind us, blood supplies are traditionally lower and all eligible donors are encouraged to honor these professionals by contacting their local blood collection facility to schedule an appointment to donate blood.
"Blood collectors play a vital role in the transfusion medicine community as they are charged with making every effort to provide a positive experience for the blood donor," said Karen Shoos Lipton, JD, chief executive officer of AABB. "These professionals help ensure that blood is readily available to patients whenever and wherever it is needed."
According to AABB data, approximately 23 million blood components are transfused annually in the United States alone. Blood transfusions are a critical component in the treatment of patients with serious medical conditions, from cancer to major surgery, as well as accident and trauma victims. People typically receive transfusions of red blood cells, platelets or plasma. Red blood cells are the most frequently needed blood component.
"Blood collectors play a vital role in every community across the United States. Their knowledge and commitment helps to assure blood therapies are available to save and improve lives," said Ron Labrum, Fenwal president and chief executive officer. "Blood Collectors Week is a tribute to this important profession and Fenwal is honored to partner with AABB, blood centers and communities nationwide to recognize these outstanding professionals."
Blood collection organizations estimate that every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. Blood donors are the only source of blood for transfusion.
Blood collectors serve an important role helping individuals select the best donation option based on local blood supply needs, their blood type and donor qualifications. Type O negative is the universal blood type for red cells, and type AB is the universal blood type for platelets and plasma. To donate blood, one must be healthy, and meet age, weight and other donor requirements.
To contact a local blood center or to learn more about blood donation, visit www.aabb.org. For more information about Blood Collectors Week, visit www.bloodcollectors.org
AABB is an international, not-for-profit association representing individuals and institutions involved in the field of transfusion medicine and cellular therapies. The association is committed to improving health by developing and delivering standards, accreditation and educational programs that focus on optimizing patient and donor care and safety. AABB membership consists of nearly 2,000 institutions and 8,000 individuals, including physicians, nurses, scientists, researchers, administrators, medical technologists and other health care providers. Members are located in more than 80 countries. For more information, please visit www.aabb.org.
Fenwal, Inc. is a global medical technology company dedicated to ensuring the continued availability, safety and effectiveness of blood – medicine's most vital natural resource. Fenwal offers a wide range of products for the automated and manual collection, filtration, separation, storage and transfusion of blood and its components. The company was founded in 1949. Today, Fenwal products and advanced blood technologies are used to help treat patients on six continents. Fenwal, Inc. is based in Lake Zurich, Illinois. For more information, please visit www.fenwalinc.com