AABB's Blood Banking & Transfusion Medicine 101: eCast Series

The Transfusion Committee: How to be Effective and Sustaining

July 22, 2020 | 2:00PM to 3:00PM (EDT)


Educational Track: Technical/Clinical
Topic: Transfusion Medicine
Intended Audience: Hospitals, Hospital Blood Banks, Immunohematology Reference Labs (IRL’s), Laboratory Staff, Managers/Supervisors, Medical Directors, Nurses, Perfusionists, Physicians, Resident/Fellow, Students (MD, MT, SBB), Technologists, Transfusion Safety Officers, Other: CMO’s, Pharmacists, IT, Donor Center Representatives
Teaching Level: Basic to Intermediate

Director/Moderator: Kerry L. O’Brien, MD, Medical Director, Blood Bank, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA
Speakers: Jim Gorham, MD, PhD, Medical Director, Blood Bank and Transfusion Services, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA; Carolyn Burns, MD, Patient Blood Management Physician Advisor, Louisville, KY

Learning Objectives

After participating in this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Describe how to integrate clinical stakeholders into your facility’s Transfusion Committee.
  • Detail how to engage the members of the committee to commit to attending and fully participating in the committee meetings.
  • Detail how to effectively utilize committee members to aid in the ultimate goals of the committee, such as reducing waste or decreasing inappropriate transfusions.
  • Identify how to improve an ineffective transfusion committee.

Program Description

AABB Standards mandate that transfusing facilities have a peer-review program that addresses transfusion practices for all aspects of blood and blood components. To comply, most institutions have created a Transfusion Committee to review ordering practices, adverse events, blood administration policies, wastage and utilization and appropriateness of use. This presentation hopes to describe ways to make your institution’s committee effective and sustainable in the current healthcare climate of never-ending budgetary constraints. Experiences from a health care system and a single institution will be described.


AABB understands the value of learning together as a group but with COVID-19, bringing everyone together to share the experience in person may not be an option for your team. Given this, all participants in a group will be provided the ability to register as a single viewer (AABB will provide a promocode to registered group viewing coordinators to share with their team in advance of the live program). If you are a group interested in participating in this eCast, simply complete the Group Viewing registration form and AABB will provide detailed instructions to share with your team. For single viewers, the process has not changed.

    Program #
Single Viewer: Live Register 20EL-556-2035
Single Viewer: On-Demand Register 20EL-556-4035
Group Viewing: Live Register 20EL-556-6035
Group Viewing: On-Demand Register 20EL-556-8035
Group Viewing: Live & On-Demand Register 20EL-556-9935

Continuing Education Credit

AABB estimates both the live and on-demand version of this eCast each to be eligible for 1 continuing education credits/contact hours for Physician, California Nurse, California Lab Personnel, Florida Lab Personnel and General Participation credit. The final number of credit(s) and credit types awarded for this program (live or on-demand) will be determined by the program duration. For more information on each credit type please visit our Continuing Education Credits webpage.

Disclosures for the planners of this event can be found here. Disclosures for the program faculty are provided at the beginning of the program.

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Jim Gorham is Medical Director of the Blood Bank and Transfusion Medicine Service at the University of Virginia, where he has been since 2015. He has been co-chair of the institutional transfusion committee since 2017. Dr. Gorham is Professor of Pathology at UVA, where he serves as Chief of the Division of Laboratory Medicine. He is Chair of the National Blood Foundation’s Grant Review Committee as well as a 2017 inductee in the NBF Hall of Fame.

Dr. Carolyn Burns is a Board Certified Pathologist (AP/CP) and served as Medical Director/Chief of Pathology of the Jewish Hospital Healthcare System, Dept. of Pathology in Louisville, KY. from 1991-2011. This included medical directorship of Surgical Pathology, Clinical Laboratory and the Transfusion/ Tissue Services for this 5-hospital system. She has previously been an Asst. Clinical Professor in the Dept. of Pathology @ the University of Louisville and on the Advisory Board and guest lecturer for the Bellarmine University Clinical Laboratory Science Program. Dr. Burns currently serves as a physician advisor for the American Red Cross Blood Center, River Valley Region. After earning her Microbiology degree with Honors from the University of Kansas in 1981, and her Medical Degree Cum Laude from the University of Missouri in 1986, Dr. Burns completed an internship in General Surgery followed by Pathology residency @ the University of Louisville. Dr. Burns is an active member of several medical societies including AABB, College of American Pathologists, American Society of Clinical Pathologists where she serves on the Education Committee, and the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management where she serves on the Board as President-elect. She has served as Secretary, Treasurer and the editor of the SABM Newsletter. Dr. Burns is a board member, as well, for the KY. Association of Blood Banks. Dr. Burns is a passionate advocate for Patient Blood Management, has been published in peer reviewed journals and textbooks, and is often sought as an engaging speaker on diverse transfusion topics. Current interests also include Laboratory Management and Utilization, another venue which promotes quality, safe, patient-centered care.

Click here for more about the curriculum for the AABB Blood Banking & Transfusion Medicine 101: eCast Series.  AABB eCasts are 60-90-minute interactive, online programs that include a question and answer period. Participants need access to a computer with an active Internet connection to participate. To register for online live and on-demand programs, view AABB’s registration options and pricing here.