Blood Community Leaders Present Joint Statement to HHS Advisory Committee Recommending 1-Year Deferral for MSM
AABB, the American Red Cross and America’s Blood Centers issued a joint statement today reiterating their previous position that the Food and Drug Administration should change the indefinite deferral currently in place for a man who has had sex with another man since 1977 to a 12-month deferral. According to the statement, presented at a meeting of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability — which is available on a Web-based videocast — the change in policy would make the deferral period for MSM conform with the deferral periods for other similar high-risk sexual behaviors, such as having sexual contact with an individual with HIV or viral hepatitis. The statement goes on to say that the data regarding quarantine release errors do not justify a different deferral period for MSM than that for individuals who engage in similar high-risk sexual behaviors. Members can refer media calls relating to the MSM blood donation issue to AABB’s public relations department or consult talking points that are available on the AABB website.
June Issue of AABB News Celebrates Transfusion’s Golden Anniversary
The June issue of AABB News recognizes the association’s academic journal, Transfusion, for reaching its 50th anniversary this year. One feature article examines how the journal has changed during the past five decades — both with respect to the types of content it has included and the publishing features it has embraced. Another feature article details the commemorative activities AABB has planned in honor of this anniversary, including a specially designed banner on the cover of issues in 2010, a bookmark that highlights milestones in Transfusion’s history and online quizzes about the journal. Also included within this month’s issue of AABB News — which was mailed to members this week — is a recap of the eighth annual National Blood Foundation Leadership Forum, an article investigating the pros and cons of using bigger blood collection bags, and a standards column explaining possible changes to labeling for syphilis testing.
Upcoming AABB Audioconference to Examine Use of Chemicals in Antibody Identification
An upcoming AABB audioconference will examine the use of chemicals in antibody identification. The June 16 session will include a discussion of the effect that chemicals such as proteolytic enzymes, DTT, ZZAP, chloroquine diphosphate and AET have on certain blood group antigens. It also will cover the principle of chemical use in enhancing or denaturing red cell antigens and explore case studies where the use of chemicals aided in successful identification of a red cell antibody.
Revised Crosswalk Document on Labeling and Coding Now Available
The Crosswalk Subgroup of the Alliance for Harmonisation of Cellular Therapy Accreditation, or AHCTA, has revised its crosswalk document on labeling and coding. There are seven topic-specific crosswalk documents available, which provide basic information on organizational activities for global comparison and gap analysis. The documents were prepared by several standards-setting organizations and will be updated as each organization publishes a new edition of its standards.
Deadline Extended for Survey Assessing ISBT 128 Readiness for Cellular Therapy Facilities
The deadline for accredited cellular therapy facilities to participate in a survey assessing the current state of ISBT 128 implementation has been extended until June 16. AABB and other organizations in 2005 recommended the implementation of ISBT 128 and currently require the use of ISBT 128 terminology for labeling of cellular therapy products. Participation in the five-minute online survey will help determine the support and education that facilities need to move forward in the process. Additional information and frequently asked questions are available on AABB’s website.
CDC Updates Protocol for Biovigilance Component of National Healthcare Safety Network
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated the Biovigilance Component Protocol for the agency’s National Healthcare Safety Network, or NHSN. The document provides blood transfusion-related adverse reaction definitions — originally developed by the AABB Hemovigilance Working Group — that can be used by transfusion service personnel when reporting in the NHSN Hemovigilance Module. Among the changes, the updated document includes new language describing the Hemovigilance Module and how to use it. Only minor changes or clarifications to the case definitions were made, such as the addition of hypotensive transfusion reaction case definition criteria for pediatric patients.
Community Encouraged to Commemorate World Blood Donor Day on Monday
AABB is encouraging its individual and institutional members to undertake activities in support of World Blood Donor Day this Monday, June 14, according to an association press release. Observed on the birthday of Karl Landsteiner — the Nobel Prize winner who discovered the ABO blood group system — this day recognizes volunteer blood donors and encourages eligible individuals to donate regularly. World Blood Donor Day this year is focused on promoting blood donation among young people. In support of this event, AABB is promoting the availability of its blood bank locator, which allows individuals to find a nearby accredited center where they can donate.
WHO Publishes Recommendations for Screening Donated Blood for Transfusion-Transmissible Infections
The World Health Organization has published a book of key recommendations geared toward ensuring that donated blood from all countries is screened for transfusion-transmissible infections. The seven-part publication includes chapters on screening assays, national blood programs, quality systems in blood screening, and confirmatory testing and blood donor management. The book can be ordered directly from the WHO website.
Prime Exhibit Space Still Available for 2010 AABB Annual Meeting and CTTXPO
Prime exhibit space remains for the 2010 AABB Annual Meeting and CTTXPO being held Oct. 9-12 in Baltimore. The CTTXPO exhibit hall of the meeting offers exposure to the most influential purchasers in the industry and access to more than 4,500 professionals in the transfusion medicine and cellular therapy community. Various support and advertising opportunities also are available. Interested individuals can view the floor plan, submit an application or inquire about support opportunities on the AABB website.
Reminder: One Month Remains in Comment Period for Proposed 27th Edition of BBTS
A draft of the 27th edition of Standards for Blood Banks and Transfusion Services is available for public comment for one more month. The comment period, which runs until July 12, gives individuals an opportunity to provide feedback on proposed changes to the standards. The 27th edition goes into effect May 1, 2011. Any questions regarding the comment period should be directed to AABB’s standards department.
A recent spike in demand for AB plasma is stabilizing, according to the National Blood Exchange. Levels of other frozen products are high, which allows all known needs to be addressed immediately. Requests for O-negative red blood cells are increasing and availability is low, while quantities of other blood types remain plentiful throughout the country. Meanwhile, quantities of platelet products are increasing and currently exceed need.
AABB, 8101 Glenbrook Road, Bethesda, MD 20814
Managing Editor: Sherkiya Wedgeworth
Copyright 2010 AABB. All rights reserved.
June 10-11 – HHS Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability Public Meeting on Donor Deferral for MSM read more »
June 16 – AABB Audioconference: Use of Chemicals in Antibody Identification read more »
June 16-17 – FDA-OCRA Conference on Business of Regulatory Affairs
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June 23 – AABB Audioconference: Revisiting Bone Marrow Collection
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July 1 – Brookings Roundtable on Active Medical Product Surveillance read more »
Full Calendar read more »
New Web Resources
National Heart, Lung and Blood Advisory Council, May 26 Meeting Summary
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Current Drug Shortages Reported by FDA, Including Herparin Sodium Volume Premixed Infusion Solutions read more »