Blood and tissue safety and availability is part of the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of the Secretary, 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.
Ensuring that safe blood and tissue products are available when needed is important to the health and well-being of Americans. Both blood and tissue products are frequently used in the health care setting and reach vast groups of Americans. It is estimated that someone needs a blood transfusion every two seconds, while there are more than 1.5 million tissue transplants each year.
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.
- 1996: The Institute of Medicine 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, and an internal, Department-wide, executive-level Blood Safety Council. These groups are uniquely chartered to provide a broad array of public health advice in the areas of science, policy/law, bioethics, consumer concerns, and socioeconomics.
- 2012: HHS re-charters the Blood Safety Council into the Blood, Organ, and Tissue Senior Executive Council (BOTSEC) and the Advisory Committee on Blood Safety & Availability into the federal Advisory Committee on Blood & Tissue Safety & Availability. These two expansions add the ability 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.
For contact information, please visit OIDP’s Contact Us page.