Blood Community Proposes New ACBTSA Recommendations to Strengthen Blood Supply

January 08, 2024

AABB, America’s Blood Centers (ABC) and the American Red Cross (ARC) urged the Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability (ACBTSA) to consider additional recommendations to strengthen the blood supply in joint comments issued Dec. 22. The organizations also provided feedback on recommendations to be considered by the committee at its Jan. 11 virtual meeting.

New Recommendations from the Blood Community

The blood community included three proposed recommendations related to surge capacity.

First, AABB, ABC and ARC asked the committee to recommend the establishment of a baseline inventory of blood, noting that existing blood inventory reports do not include a mechanism to understand blood availability at hospitals.

Second, the blood community asked ACBTSA to consider the modeling of unprecedented emergency scenarios. The organizations emphasized that coordinated planning is essential for understanding the levels of surge required for unprecedented events such as a nuclear detonation, biological warfare or a blood-borne pathogen.

Finally, the organizations asked ACBTSA to consider funding for a sustained increase in blood inventories. AABB, ABC and ARC urged HHS to dedicate funding to support increased local public awareness and blood collection capacity. Additionally, they recommended that HHS invest additional funding for social science research related to blood donation.

Feedback on ACBTSA’s Current Recommendations

In response to ACBTSA’s current recommendations, AABB, ABC and ARC expressed their support for government resources to aid blood collection centers during emergencies and endorsed the use of the Zika payment model, along with suggested expansions.

The organizations also proposed revisions to current recommendations, such as specifying that the HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy create an action plan and collaborates with funding agencies to stabilize the blood supply chain.

Furthermore, the blood community recommended clarifications and additions related to regulatory measures, international collaboration with Canada, risk analysis and the development of an agency for risk-capability analysis.