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Advocacy

Scientific, Medical, Technical, Quality, and Regulatory

America's Blood Centers successfully advocated for changes in the AABB Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) standards to exclude apheresis platelets until there is a better understanding of the impact of donor losses attendant on screening for alloimmunization on supply. We assisted with the submission of a variance to draw donors being bled therapeutically for testosterone induced erythrocytosis without labeling for the condition, and at increased frequency if appropriate.

ChloraPrep labeling changes were addressed with FDA and the manufacturer to be sure no adverse effects in donor room flows related to changes irrelevant to that setting. America's Blood Center brought Circular of Information language changes with the potential for unintended consequences to the attention of FDA for amending. We conducted extensive interaction with FDA directly and via the Interorganizational Uniform Donor History group on the issue of Donor Screening for Malaria. 

With the help of members, America's Blood Centers continued to participate in various Interorganizational Task Forces including Disaster Preparedness, Bacterial Contamination, TRALI mitigation and AABB Committees, Pharma Conferences Organizing Committee, the FDA Blood Product Advisory Committee (BPAC), the Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability, the European Blood Alliance Emerging Infectious Diseases Monitor, and ISBT Working Party on Transfusion Transmitted Infectious Diseases. The Disaster Task Force responded to both real world events and disasters, while also participating in planning exercises such as the Alaska earthquake exercise simulating the delivery of 1,500 blood products. 

We supported an initiative funded by the FABC to develop a written statement of understanding for blood donors incorporating a minimum data set suggested by BPAC. America's Blood Centers collaborated with multiple member blood centers and the blood community on issues related to the spread of Chikungunya virus to the Caribbean, the clinical approach to septic transfusion reactions to platelets, the appropriate response to transfusion-transmitted babesiosis and dengue, the need for post-marketing surveillance in the event of licensure of pathogen reduction technologies by FDA, and the development by the Alliance of Blood Operators (ABO) of a formal risk-informed decision making process for transfusion and donor safety questions. 

America's Blood Centers participated in a working group to develop an agreed upon standardized methodology on the use of historical antigens, while participating in an industry working group examining Quarantine and Release Errors (QREs). We identified, distributed, and reviewed 11 draft/final regulatory documents and submitted comments as appropriate on subjects including the Abbreviated Donor History Questionnaire, Circular of Information, Clinical Study Monitoring, Permanent Discontinuation or Interruption of Certain Drugs or Biologics, Changes to Approved Applications for Biological Products, ISBT 128 Technical Specifications, Syphilis and WNV Testing for HCT/P, and Medical Device Cybersecurity. 

World Blood Donor Day

America's Blood Centers and our member blood centers celebrated World Blood Donor Day (June 14) with the 5th Annual Nexcare give promotion. Through this partnership, participating blood centers received a supply of "the art of giving" bandages, which were inspired by five artistic movements. Additionally, extensive media outreach was done on behalf of both America's Blood Centers and its member blood centers to garner media attention in print, online, and broadcast news outlets both at the local and national level resulting in more than 19 million media impressions for America's Blood Centers, 475,000 Nexcare give bandages distributed nationwide by members of America's Blood Centers, and more than 56,000 new "likes" were earned on the Nexcare give Facebook page with over 65,000 "pledges" to support blood donation.

Media Relations

America's Blood Centers distributed four press releases during the year. Staff and spokespersons conducted numerous interviews, while assisting the following print, online, broadcast media outlets and government organizations:

These articles covered a variety of topics including:

National Cesar E. Chavez Blood Drive Challenge

The Migrant Students Foundation, in partnership with America's Blood Centers and its members, hosted the 6th annual National Cesar E. Chavez Blood Drive Challenge in the spring of 2013. This ever-growing nationwide campaign encourages students - especially of Hispanic/Latino descent - to promote health education, health and science careers, and saving lives. 

AmericasBlood.org Redesign

In May 2013, America's unveiled a redesigned public website. AmericasBlood.org is the face of our organization and often the first place that blood donors and recipients, the media, and public come for information on blood donation, our member blood centers, and our organization. On the new site, users will find streamlined content, an updated interface which creaters a more user-friendly, informative, modern, resourceful, and interactive environment.

 

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