IPFA/BCA 2nd Global Symposium on the Future for Blood and Plasma Donations 2015

The 2nd IPFA/BCA Symposium was held in Fort Worth (Dallas) on the 28 – 29 September 2015. We are grateful to our co-organiser BCA (Blood Centres of America) and local host Carter BloodCare for their vision in identifying the need for and importance of the meeting and for their energetic and enthusiastic contributions to its planning and organization.

Meeting Report

Dr Sayers, President and CEO of Carter BloodCare, launched the meeting with insights into current issues in the US blood bank industry. Particular pressures on the current donor base and the ability to retain donors were highlighted. One critical metric shows a ‘shift to the right’ in age distribution of apheresis donors, pointing to a short-term future where many of these donors will “age out” of donation eligibility. Additionally, new standards and regulations will make it harder for donors to qualify, namely there is a projection that Carter BloodCare will lose 17% of female platelet-apheresis donors based on new HLA standards from AABB. FDA changes requiring a higher hemoglobin cutoff for males will also have a significant impact on the number of eligible donors.
Ms Demaret shared a moving account of her son’s life and the family’s struggle with his severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). As the “boy in the bubble”, David Vetter, became the public face of SCID and contributed enormously to raising awareness and to research advancing life-saving therapies available today.
Dr Orange spoke about the demand for immune globulin, individualization of therapy and potential roles for specific preparations. A meta-analysis he conducted shows a lower incidence of pneumonia among patients with higher doses of Ig and higher trough levels. He also presented an overview of the spectrum of variables accessible for individualization for patients receiving Ig therapy. Twelve different variables are analyzed in the paper, including dose, trough, wear-off, delivery, frequency, etc. Dr Orange concluded by saying, “Latent demand for Ig is startling and easily outstrips supply.” The biggest driver in the demand issue is dosage.

Please see the comprehensive meeting report.

Fellowships 2015

IPFA and Carter BloodCare were delighted to have been able to offer “Fellowships” to enable the following people to attend the meeting:

  • Dr Richard Malan (Argentina)
  • Dr Gabriela Varela (Argentina)
  • Prof. Osires de Melo (Brazil)
  • Dr Rocio del Pilar Parra Galvis (Colombia)
  • Dr Greg Bellairs (South Africa)
  • Dr Luiz Amorim (Brazil)

Their individual reports and impressions from the meeting are available. We were pleased to welcome them to the meeting and thank them for their valuable comments and insights.

IPFA/BCA 3rd Global Symposium – 2017

Arrangements for a 2017 Symposium on the Future for Blood and Plasma Donations are underway. Watch for Save-the-Date information, as we plan to head to Nashville, Tennessee, USA, in September 2017.

We are deeply indebted to all who contributed to the success of the meeting including our commercial sponsors without whose support the meeting would not be possible.

Dr Paul F.W. Strengers, Executive President IPFA
Mr Bill Block, President and CEO BCA
Dr Merlyn H. Sayers, President and CEO Carter BloodCare