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Iron Management Among Blood Donors

AABB convened the AABB Ad Hoc Working Group on Iron Management Among Blood Donors to conduct a comprehensive review of data regarding iron management among blood donors. The Working Group utilized a risk-based decision-making (RBDM) framework to conduct its assessment.

The Working Group comprised individuals with expertise in blood center operations, bioethics, research and transfusion medicine, as well as representatives from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, and patient and donor advocates. As part of the RBDM process, the group reviewed more than two dozen research studies to gather the full range of data on iron management in blood donors.

The RBDM framework, developed by the Alliance of Blood Operators, was chosen because AABB believes it provides a thorough and structured process for making decisions about optimal strategies for risk mitigation in blood safety.

The Working Group’s iron management report is now available. AABB encourages members to review the report and offer feedback to the Association on both the findings of the report and AABB’s use of the RBDM process by which it was developed. AABB has provided a form to submit feedback.

AABB has long considered iron management to be an important issue in the blood donation process. In recent years, new research has expanded the current understanding of iron management in blood donors. In response to some of this new data, AABB released Association Bulletin #17-02 last year to advise blood centers on ensuring optimal iron balance in blood donors, which superseded Association Bulletin #12-03, AABB’s previous guidance on iron management in blood donors, published in 2012.

This report does not represent new requirements for blood centers and will not be sent to the Blood Banks/Transfusion Services Standards Committee for consideration at this time. The report is intended to serve as a resource for the blood community to further enhance its already strong blood collection practices.

AABB Hot Topic Session: RBDM Iron Management
Sunday, October 14, 2018, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

In the interest of promoting open and constructive dialogue about this topic, AABB will be hosting a Hot Topic session at the 2018 AAABB Annual Meeting which will include an overview of the iron management report and the RBDM framework by which it was developed. The session will include ample time for questions and discussion between attendees and a panel of experts. If you would like to submit questions or comments for consideration by the panel, you can do so ahead of the session by emailing president@aabb.org. The session will be a unique opportunity for AABB members to provide feedback on our community’s response to this issue.


Report and Supplement

AABB Donor Iron Deficiency Risked-Based Decision-Making Assessment Report
AABB Donor Iron Deficiency Risked-Based Decision-Making Assessment Report Supplemental Material

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Iron and Blood Donation For Blood Centers
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Iron and Blood Donation For Donors and Parents

Feedback

AABB Iron Deficiency Risk-Based Decision-Making Assessment Report Feedback Form

Resources

Association Bulletin #17-02 - Updated Strategies to Limit or Prevent Iron Deficiency in Blood Donors
Association Bulletin #12-03 - Strategies to Monitor, Limit, or Prevent Iron Deficiency in Blood Donors
Balancing Act: Striving for Optimal Iron Management in Blood Donors - AABB News, June 2018
Additional Resources