AABB Affirms Support for California Bill Authorizing Telehealth to Meet Blood Bank Staffing Requirements

April 06, 2022

AABB registered its support for legislation being considered in California (SB 1475) that would permanently authorize blood collections where the registered nurse placed in charge is either physically present or available via telehealth. 

Current California law mandates that a registered nurse be physically present at all sites whenever blood is donated, but blood collectors in the state have been able to utilize a remote telehealth option to meet the state’s staffing requirements during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

In a letter to Senate Health Committee Chair Richard Pan, MD, MPH, AABB highlighted that telehealth is an effective and efficient option to respond to adverse events that may occur during the donation process. AABB also explained that because blood collectors are facing economic pressures, it is difficult for them to compete with acute care settings for the limited number of registered nurses in California.

In addition, AABB noted that without the telehealth option in place during the public health emergency, thousands of units of blood would not have been collected in California. Furthermore, AABB emphasized that blood collectors in California have demonstrated that blood can safely be collected with staff having access to a registered nurse via telehealth should consultation be needed.