The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability (ACBTSA) has proposed blood supply surge capacity recommendations that will be considered via a vote at an upcoming meeting. The recommendations come in the wake of ACBTSA’s July meeting and include the following:
- “during national and regional emergencies, government resources are made available to assist blood collection centers with the transport of blood samples and other key supplies that may be needed in affected areas of the country. The Emergency Support Function (ESF) #8 planning document should specifically incorporate this provision into their planning function. This may be done with an annex to the ESF.
- The Committee further recommends an analysis of all required blood supply functions with cross-reference to the ESF #8 planning document to ensure that all functions are appropriately covered with an annex to the ESF.
- The Committee recommends that the Zika payment model be used during long-term emergencies to support the collection and manufacture of blood components to allow for a minimum 10 percent increase over baseline usage during emergencies when surge capacity is required.
- The Committee recommends that Secretary Becerra fund additional public awareness campaigns including funding for data analytics to increase the donor pool and determine effectiveness.”
America’s Blood Centers (ABC) is reviewing the blood supply surge capacity recommendations and plans to submit comments to the committee prior to their next meeting. ABC previously provided comments to the ACBTSA regarding blood supply surge capacity recommendations in July.
In those blood supply surge capacity comments, ABC emphasized that “[i]t is important that surge capacity recognizes the vein-to-vein nature of blood donation, including donors, key manufacturing supplies, and hospital utilization. The COVID-19 pandemic strained all three of these areas and highlighted the need for robust public-private planning for future disaster scenarios, as well as flexibility in regulatory authority.” ABC described the importance of regulators “supporting a robust base of donors” explaining that “[l]essons learned from [the COVID-19 pandemic and the response of blood centers] should be discussed and memorialized to help shape the government and blood community response to future emergencies where a national surge in collection of blood product(s) is warranted.”