In our cord blood banking reviews, accreditation within the AABB is decisive to obtain a high punctiation in our category “Accreditations”. As we assign so much importance to this category to define which will be the best cord blood bank, we explain you now which activities does this association perform, which are their functions and why it is so important to be accredited by this institution.
AABB, formerly known as the Association of Blood Banks, represents a not-for-profit organization that acts globally and gathers the international experts in the field of blood banking, transfusion medicine, cord blood banking, stem cells banking and cellular therapies. This association is striving to improve the overall health by pushing forwards the standards in transfusion medicine and cellular therapies. The Association of Blood Banks is committed to improving standard procedures, accrediting new facilities that practice blood and stem cell banking, as well as developing educational programs both to specialized institutions and the public, with the focus on broadening the limits of transfusion medicine and cellular therapies. The experts that work inside this organization are highly trained physicians, nurses, researchers and science technologists brought together to improve the quality of services related to blood or stem cell banking.
It currently operates in 80 countries and accredits institutions in more than 50 countries worldwide that provide services in the field of transfusion medicine and cellular therapies.
The network of the accredited institutions grows rapidly since it was well recognized that AABB accreditation serves as an excellent reference to all that want to meet the highest standards concerning the transfusion and regenerative medicine.
Vision of AABB
AABB strives to ensure that transfusion and cellular therapies are safe, effective and available to as many individuals as possible. Safety matters first. AABB constantly monitors the safety data related to the application of transfusion and cellular therapies and evaluates the risks associated with each of the above-mentioned treatments. AABB also assesses the effectiveness of cell-based therapies and works with experts in order to expand the therapeutic applications of stem cells by investigating their nature and their full therapeutic potential. AABB collaborates with other relevant institutions in order to make the cellular therapies available to all that are in the need of transfusion or stem cells transplantation.
The organization is the global leader in terms of setting and implementation of the operational standards, accreditation and setting up and monitoring the quality systems with regards to transfusion medicine and cell-based therapies. The main focus of the organization is the donor and recipient safety in terms of approved and scientifically-based use of transfusion and cellular therapies. AABB uses evidence-based knowledge to develop high-quality solutions, thereby ensuring the maximum safety of each patient enrolled in the transfusion or stem cell treatment. The organization serves as a network of international experts that bring out new and more effective solutions, engage in new research, and advocate for innovations in the field of transfusion and regenerative medicine. The experts meet at least once in a year, at a so-called Annual Meeting, where new discoveries and innovations are being discussed.
Core Values of AABB have been discussed and updated at the meeting of the board of directors in 2017. They include four key values such as respect for each member of AABB and each patient, integrity, meaning compliance to the highest international standards, transparency that includes regular open communication with the members and the public, as well as excellence that should be portrayed as striving towards the creation of best possible practices to the community of professionals AABB serves. By the establishment and promotion of “Respect Integrity Transparency Excellence (RITE)” values, AABB succeeded to be one of the most trustful and leading organizations in the world that deal with transfusion and regenerative medicine.
Standards and Accreditation
AABB has a yearlong tradition. All the way back in the year 1957, AABB started to develop the first standards regarding blood banks and transfusion therapies. In 1980, AABB began to tailor the first standards regarding cellular therapies with regards to umbilical cord blood handling, collection, processing, storage and release for transplant. Furthermore, AABB successfully develops standard procedures related to perioperative services, relationship testing, immuno-hematology reference laboratories, molecular testing as well as the patient blood management.
A facility that practices administration, collection, processing, and storage of blood and blood products may apply for assessment and evaluation in order to be granted AABB accreditation. AABB developed standardized procedures for accreditation of blood banking facilities where internal operational standards of each facility are being evaluated and compared with standardized recommendations from the Code of Federal Regulations, as well as federal operational guidance for the industry documents. If the facility complies with all the applicable regulations and guidance it may receive accreditation from AABB. Regular inspections from the highly skilled experts ensure that the facility (such as for example cord blood banks) constantly embraces the newest regulatory standards and keeps the internal operations fully functional and aligned with rigorous AABB standards. They also check even the cord blood collection kits and the internal procedures.
AABB Accreditation Program ensures the highest standard of care within the areas covered by this institution. Accreditation may be granted for each step of the process of managing blood and blood products which also includes scientific research, investigations, and education. AABB stimulates constant improvement of internal processes and compliance with new federal regulations. Therefore, institutions accredited by AABB represent the standard-of-care facilities, where both the efficacy and safety of each process is constantly monitored and improved.
AABB supports plenty of scientific investigations and research with public and private cord blood banks, considering all aspects of transfusion and cellular therapies. Some of the most significant research programs are listed below.
AABB supports hemovigilance system that monitors and manages the risks associated with treatment with blood and blood products. Evaluation and analysis of the reported risks are constantly being performed and strategies are regularly being developed to mitigate the risks in order to protect the patients and ensure maximum patient safety.
National Blood Foundation
AABB continues to is engaged with the National Blood Foundation which releases significant funds to support young talents and investigators who practice research in the fields of transfusion medicine and cellular therapies. Grants released by the National Blood Foundation in collaboration with AABB resulted in groundbreaking discoveries related to transfusion and cell-based treatments.
TRANSFUSION is a scientific medical journal with a very high impact factor. Transfusion journal is one of the most significant scientific journals that deal with scientific research related to transfusion medicine and cellular therapies. TRANSFUSION is written by the scientific and medical experts that work within the AABB, as well as by other healthcare professionals. The journal reports on the most recent technical advancements stimulate the exchange of the opinions regarding multiple controversial topics and reports the key findings from the latest conferences.
The Association publishes sporadically papers that may be written by this organization or in collaboration with other institutions regarding various topics. Usually, the white paper represents the view of the organization on the new regulations, guidance, discoveries, and controversies. The white paper may be used only to summarize recent regulatory requirements or scientific research in the field of transfusion medicine and cellular therapies.
the Association of Blood Banks developed educational programs for all that may be interested in any field that is related to management of blood and blood products. It supports education and continuous improvement of knowledge with a final goal to maximize patient care.