LAKE ZURICH, Ill. & BETHESDA, Md. September 1, 2016 – More than 20 million units of blood components are transfused annually in the United States, according to AABB, the global association of professionals dedicated to transfusion medicine and cellular therapies. Making this possible are blood collectors, the vital link between donors and patients, and September 4-10, 2016 is the 11th annual Blood Collectors Week, co-created by AABB and Fresenius Kabi, a company that specializes in transfusion technologies.
During this week, more than 200 blood centers across the U.S. will host celebrations and tributes, often with the presence of local government officials. Participating blood centers and donors are encouraged to submit a success story online (http://www.bloodcollectors.org) highlighting how someone has gone above and beyond in supporting the nation’s blood supply or in creating a positive donor experience. Participants are also encouraged to show their support for the week on social media using the hashtags #BloodCollectorsWeek and #SavingLives. Blood Collectors Week is on twitter @bloodcollectors.
Blood transfusions are a critical component in the treatment of people with serious medical conditions, including cancer patients, organ transplant recipients, and accident and trauma victims. Volunteer blood donors are the primary source of blood used for transfusions.
“During Blood Collectors Week we honor the many professionals across the U.S. whose commitment to safely collecting blood and blood components is demonstrated every day,” said Miriam A. Markowitz, AABB CEO. “AABB thanks you. Your efforts and hard work help keep blood, an essential medicine, available to those in need of transfusions throughout the year.”
“The goal for this week-long event is to celebrate the blood collection profession as being vital to the blood supply community, and linking how blood collection professionals ensure a safe and adequate blood supply by creating a positive experience for donors,” said Dean Gregory, president, medical devices at Fresenius Kabi USA, which supports blood collectors with Fenwal technologies for transfusion medicine and cell therapy. “We’re pleased to continue this partnership with AABB in recognizing the many blood collectors in the U.S. who work year-round to help care for patients.”
Patients typically receive transfusions of red blood cells, platelets or plasma. Red blood cells are the most frequently needed blood component. The number of whole blood and red blood cell units collected in the U.S in a year is about 13.6 million. Blood collectors serve an important role helping individuals select the best donation option based on local blood supply needs, their blood type and donor qualifications. To donate blood, one must be healthy, and meet age, weight and other donor requirements.
Donors are encouraged to honor blood professionals and the patients they serve by contacting their local blood collection facility to schedule an appointment to donate. Those interested in learning more about blood donation and finding a local blood collection site should visit www.aabb.org. For more information about Blood Collectors Week, visit www.bloodcollectors.org or follow us on twitter @bloodcollectors.
AABB is an international, not-for-profit association representing individuals and institutions involved in transfusion medicine, cellular therapies and patient blood management. The association is committed to improving health by developing and delivering standards, accreditation and educational programs that focus on optimizing patient and donor care and safety. AABB membership consists of nearly 1,500 institutions and 7,500 individuals, including physicians, nurses, scientists, researchers, administrators, medical technologists and other health care providers. Members are located in more than 80 countries. For more information, visit www.aabb.org.
About Fresenius Kabi
Fresenius Kabi (www.fresenius-kabi.us) is a global health care company that specializes in medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition. The company’s products and services are used to help care for critically and chronically ill patients. The company’s U.S. headquarters is in Lake Zurich, Illinois. The company’s global headquarters is in Bad Homburg, Germany. For more information about Fresenius Kabi worldwide, please visit www.fresenius-kabi.com.