AbstractsMedical & Health Science

Abstract

Every 2 seconds, someone in the United States (US) requires a blood transfusion. There is currently no clinical replacement for human blood, leading to a high dependence on volunteer blood donors for the necessary transfusion products. On average, the donor population increases by 3% every year. However, the demand for blood products is growing at an annual rate of 6%, placing the US on a trajectory towards a continuous blood shortage. The donor population is currently limited by hundreds of eligibility requirements, which are implemented to protect the donor from adverse reactions, and protect the patient receiving the blood from transmitted infections. These regulations should be developed using the most current, widely accepted, evidence-based data. A comparison was completed to analyze the relationship between peer-reviewed clinical findings, and the US policies developed by the Food and Drug Administration, AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks), and the American Red Cross. An additional analysis was conducted between international policies from 15 comparable countries and US???s policies. The US???s policies closely identify with policies implemented in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom (UK). However, the policies currently in place in the European countries included in the study, France, Austria, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Germany, more closely reflected available scientific data, with more lenient policies concerning patient???s, who receive to donated blood, safety, and stricter policies regarding donor safety. Thus, compared to available scientific data, US policies are more lenient towards regulations meant to protect the donor, and stricter for regulations meant to protect the patient receiving the blood. These findings suggest reassessment and revision of the US blood collection policies to more closely follow current scientific knowledge, which will greatly increase the blood supply while maintaining safety.