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About Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability

Blood and tissue safety and availability is part of the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP), which is located in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH), Office of the Secretary (OS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). OIDP coordinates HHS activities related to blood and tissue safety and availability including the Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability and research to assess the screening, collection, utilization, and availability of blood and tissue products.

History

Ensuring that safe blood and tissue products are available when they are needed is important to the health and wellbeing of Americans. Both blood and tissue products are frequently used in the health care setting and reach vast groups of Americans. For blood, it’s estimated that every 2 seconds someone is in need of transfusion, and for tissue it’s estimated that there are more than 1.5 million tissue transplants each year.
 
This timeline provides a brief overview of blood and tissue safety efforts at HHS: 
  • 1995: Federal leaders request an industry-wide roundtable on U.S. blood safety and availability from the National Academies Institute of Medicine (IOM).
  • 1996: IOM produces three reports with recommendations for improving HHS-wide coordination, including, “HIV and the Blood Supply: An Analysis of Crisis Decision-making.”
  • 1997: HHS establishes the HHS Blood Safety Director (the Assistant Secretary for Health), the federal Advisory Committee on Blood Safety & Availability (ACBSA), and an internal Department-wide executive-level Blood Safety Council (BSC). The BSC and ACBSA are uniquely chartered to provide a broad array of public health advice, covering the areas of science, policy/law, bioethics, consumer concerns and socioeconomics. 
  • 2012: HHS re-charters the BSC into the HHS Blood, Organ, and Tissue Senior Executive Council (BOTSEC) and the ABCSA into the federal Advisory Committee on Blood & Tissue Safety & Availability (ACBTSA). These two expansions added the purview to explore and coordinate public health issues related to tissue products and donor derived infectious disease complications of transplantation in organs and blood stem cells.  

Contact Us

For contact information, please visit OIDP’s Contact Us page.
 
Content created by Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP)
Content last reviewed on January 16, 2019