America’s Blood Centers submitted a letter to Senator Richard Pan, Chair, Senate Health Committee, in support of a recent bill, SB 1475, which would permanently authorize a registered nurse to be either physically present or available via telehealth during blood collection at a blood bank.
Local blood collectors have proven during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency that blood can be safely collected with qualified, trained staff having access to a registered nurse via telehealth when consultations are needed. California’s hemovigilance data is consistent with nationwide figures showing that trained blood center staff are capable of managing any donor reaction without the presence of a registered nurse onsite.
Without this legislation, SB 1475, California would once again be the only state in the nation requiring a registered nurse to be physically present while blood is being collected from healthy donors. This is a requirement that neither the Food and Drug Administration or the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies demand. Requiring the physical presence of a registered nurse unnecessarily compounds the severe shortage of registered nurses facing the state and the entire country.