Monitoring and ensuring appropriate access to and availability of safe products is a challenge in the U.S. and abroad. Efforts to increase the availability of these products also increase the opportunities for transmission of infectious pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, parasites and prions.
The Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability (ACBSA) issued a recommendation in August 2006 that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) coordinate federal actions and programs to support and facilitate biovigilance in partnership with private sector initiatives.
Biovigilance, as defined by the ACBSA, is a comprehensive and integrated national patient safety program to collect, analyze and report on the outcomes of collection and transfusion and or transplantation of blood components and derivatives, cells, tissues and organs.
Since the ACBSA’s 2006 recommendation, AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks) has been spearheading an effort to establish the first-ever national, public-private collaboration to track adverse reactions and incidents associated with blood collection and transfusion as well as tissue, organ, and cell therapy transplantation. The resulting collaboration — known as the U.S. Biovigilance Network — gathers and analyzes data to help identify trends and recommend best practices and interventions to improve patient care and safety while reducing overall costs to the health care system.