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Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability Recommendations - January 2002

DATE: August 24, 2004

TO: Interested Parties

FROM: Jerry A. Holmberg, PhD, Executive Secretary for Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability

SUBJECT: Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability Recommendations - January 31, 2002

The Advisory Committee unanimously made four Recommendations to Secretary Thompson on January 31, 2002. Minutes, transcripts and presentations are posted on the Committee's web site (http://www.hhs.gov/bloodsafety).

  1. Consistent with the principles articulated by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism, the ACBSA recommends the following:

    1. Mindful of the needs of all stakeholders, DHHS should act to promote and coordinate a single, consistent public message on blood issues, and the ultimate spokesperson for the blood community should be the Assistant Secretary for Health or her/his designee;

    2. Emergency Support Function #8 (Health and Medical Services Annex) of the Federal Response Plan should be reviewed to incorporate the recommendations and organizational members of the AABB Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism.

    3. The AABB Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism should coordinate the national response of the blood community.

    4. DHHS should fund the evaluation and potential development of blood reserves in parallel with supporting the development of ongoing programs for monitoring blood availability and shortages, including related reagents and supplies.

  2. In addition, the ACBSA recommends that DHHS identify blood donors as a critical national resource and promote blood donations as a national service to maintain enough "blood on the shelf" to permit rational management of routine needs and disaster responses. It should be a national goal to recognize and promote self-identification of lifetime-committed donors willing to donate regularly (at least once a year) and as needed. The ACBSA recommends the Secretary recognize and incorporate the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Blood Research and Review strategic plan into the DHHS response plan for counter terrorism and disaster preparedness.