AABB Launches New Alliance to Support the U.S. Blood Supply

The Alliance for a Strong Blood Supply aims to improve the resilience of the blood supply.

AABB Launches New Alliance to Support the U.S. Blood Supply
© Charlie-Helen Robinson

To better address the current challenges with the nation’s blood supply, AABB (Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies) is launching the Alliance for a Strong Blood Supply – a coalition of organizations committed to ensuring sufficient blood is available for all patients during the pandemic and beyond.

The initial 17 organizations comprising the Alliance represent the nation’s hospitals and blood collectors, as well as more than 200,000 physicians who routinely provide blood to patients in need. Alliance members have pledged to facilitate communications on the state of the blood supply and to work together on coordinated advocacy and communications campaigns to champion the importance of blood donation, the value of blood transfusions and why a robust blood supply is critical to patient care. Member organizations have also committed to sharing best practices aimed at supporting the stewardship of the blood supply.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated chronic challenges that have impacted the nation’s blood for some time,” said Debra BenAvram, chief executive officer of AABB. “By launching this first-of-its-kind coalition, AABB is bringing its 75 years of experience in leading the blood community and harnessing the collective power of a diverse group of organizations throughout the country toward a singular goal: ensuring that there will be sufficient blood available for any patient who needs it on any given day.”

Regions throughout the United States are currently facing significant blood supply challenges, with many blood collectors operating with less than a one-day supply on hand – well below the ideal goal of at least a three-day supply. As a result, hospitals have been forced to delay life-saving blood transfusions and postpone nonessential surgeries. Without immediate action to strengthen the blood supply, the effect on patient care could be disastrous.

The new Alliance will facilitate communications between member organizations and will serve as a forum for members to educate one another on challenges and opportunities to strengthen the blood supply. Members will be able to mobilize their networks to support the blood supply and will explore collaborative activities and solutions aimed at supporting the stability of the blood supply.

“Ensuring an adequate blood supply for today, and a stable blood supply for tomorrow, requires ongoing communication and collaboration,” said Claudia Cohn, MD, PhD, chief medical officer of AABB. “By bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders dedicated to ensuring that blood is available for all patients in need, the Alliance provides a critical vehicle to help stabilize the blood supply in the short-term and to identify long-term solutions that protect the availability of blood and cultivate a committed new generation of blood donors.”

In addition to AABB, the initial members of the Alliance are: Alliance for Community Transfusion Services, America’s Blood Centers, American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Surgeons, Association of Donor Recruitment Professionals, American Hospital Association, American Red Cross, American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, American Society of Anesthesiologists, American Society of Clinical Pathologists, American Society of Hematology, Association of American Medical Colleges, Blood Centers of America, College of American Pathologists, Federation of American Hospitals, and Society for the Advancement of Patient Blood Management.

AABB is continuing to expand the Alliance to include patient organizations, public health groups, industry and other organizations committed to strengthening the blood supply, as well as the broader public health infrastructure. Organizations interested in joining the Alliance should contact AABB at advocacy@aabb.org for additional information.