ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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January is National Blood Donor Month

Standards promote a safe transfusion for donors and recipients

New York, Jan 14, 2009

Blood transfusions are used every day for the treatment of accident victims, surgery patients, hemophiliacs, and others. Unable to be harvested or manufactured, blood supplies for transfusion come solely from donors. As America celebrates generosity and encourages donations during National Blood Donor Month, standards help to assure that blood is collected, stored, and transfused safely and efficiently.

Throughout January, AABB, America’s Blood Center, and the American Red Cross are teaming up to promote awareness of blood donation nationwide. The organizations are asking eligible donors to schedule an appointment to give blood through this month and all of 2009. Basic requirements for blood donors include being in good health, weighing at least 110 pounds, and being at least seventeen years old. Other specific requirements vary by state.

Several standards are in place to assure that blood donations and transfusions are conducted in a safe and efficient manner. ISO 1135-3:1986, Transfusion equipment for medical use -- Part 3: Blood-taking set is one such guidance document that helps to ensure the functional interchangeability of transfusion equipment for a single use and for a single donor.

Published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), this standard was developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 76, Transfusion, infusion and injection equipment for medical and pharmaceutical use, Working Group 5, Blood collection systems. AABB, a member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), is the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator to this TC, carrying U.S. positions forward to the committee.

Another standard provides guidelines for a process to treat blood during a transfusion. ANSI/AAMI BF64-2002, Leukocyte Reduction Filters, contains labeling requirements, performance requirements, test methods, and terminology for disposable filters used for the reduction of leukocytes from blood or blood components during transfusion. Leukocytes, or white blood cells, can cause serious adverse reactions during transfusions, particularly for cardiovascular surgery patients, neonates, pregnant patients, and others.

ANSI/AAMI BF64-2002 was developed by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.

For more information on National Blood Donor Month and to find out more about becoming a donor, click here.

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