Iron Deficiency in Blood Donors – An Update

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

Live Program Date: Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - On-Demand Available

Master Program Number: 19EL-472 (see program format numbers below under Registration)

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

Director: Suchi Pandey, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Stanford Blood Center, Associate Clinical Professor, Stanford School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA
Moderator: Kelly Meyer, Webcast Specialist, AABB, Bethesda, MD
Speakers: Ralph R. Vassallo, MD, FACP, Executive Vice President, Chief Medical & Scientific Officer, Vitalant, Inc., Scottsdale, AZ; Samantha Gomez Ngamsuntikul, MD, Associate Medical Director, BioBridge Global, San Antonio, TX

Learning Objectives

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

  • Describe recent scientific studies that have increased our knowledge about iron deficiency in blood donors and strategies to limit and prevent iron deficiency in donors.
  • Review strategies that Blood Centers have implemented to mitigate iron loss in blood donors.
  • Explain challenges Blood Centers face in implementing strategies to limit and prevent iron deficiency in donors.

Program Description

Studies show that iron deficiency is common in blood donors and certain donor groups are at higher risk, such as young donors, female donors, frequent donors, and donors with borderline low hemoglobin values. To address this, AABB has issued updated recommendations to blood collection establishments regarding strategies to limit and prevent iron deficiency in blood donors, especially in those subpopulations at increased risk. Strategies include increasing inter-donation intervals, measuring ferritin and providing iron supplementation. This eCast will review studies evaluating iron deficiency in blood donors and describe the experience at blood centers employing different mitigation strategies, including ferritin testing and providing vouchers for iron supplements.


   Program #
Single Viewer: On-Demand Register19EL-472-4035
Group Viewing: On-Demand Register19EL-472-8035

Continuing Education Credit

AABB designates both the live and on-demand version of this eCast each eligible for 1 continuing education credits/contact hours 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

Dr. Ralph Vassallo is the Executive Vice President and Chief Medical & Scientific Officer of Vitalant, Inc. (previously Blood Systems, Inc.) in Scottsdale, AZ. Dr. Vassallo oversees medical direction in the areas of donor suitability and donor care, clinical services provided to hospitals, and initiatives at Vitalant Research Institute. He received his bachelor’s and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and subsequently completed a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Vitalant in 2014, Dr. Vassallo was the Chief Medical Officer of the American Red Cross Blood Services’ East Division, having served in various Red Cross medical leadership roles for 12 years. An AABB member, Dr. Vassallo is chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Iron Management Among Blood Donors and also chairs the Donor Health & Safety Committee. He is also on the editorial boards of TRANSFUSION and Transfusion and Apheresis Science.

Dr. Samantha Gomez Ngamsuntikul joined BioBridge Global as an Associate Medical Director in 2014 and her primary responsibility includes medical oversight of the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center. She also provides medical coverage for QualTex Laboratories, which provides blood and plasma testing services, and GenCure which provides products and services for tissue procurement/processing, cellular therapy, and umbilical cord blood. Dr. Ngamsuntikul is board certified in clinical pathology and blood banking/transfusion medicine. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University and completed her medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Subsequently she completed a residency in Clinical Pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and a transfusion medicine fellowship at Stanford University Medical Center.