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Fainting is one of the most common complications of blood donation and occurs in about 1 in 200 donations. This has, of course, an adverse
effect on the donor in itself, but also on their subsequent attitude towards donation and might therefore also negatively impact the donor’s return to the blood centre. EBA, ISBT and Syncopedia have collaborated to develop an online training course to prevent fainting.

To ensure donor safety, transfusion professionals should do their very best to prevent and recognise the early signs of fainting. To
raise the level of education, the EBA, the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) and Syncopedia set to work on an online
course on fainting in donors.

The EBA Working Group on Education and Training partnered with these organisations and carefully wrote and recorded nine modules,
with the assistance of the Academic Medical Centre of Amsterdam. These modules will provide insight and knowledge on the stages
before fainting, during fainting and afterwards and, naturally, on how to prevent fainting, or vasovagal collapses, as they are called.

The modules are now freely available for all to watch and learn through the Syncopedia website. The EBA and ISBT are continuing the work and developing test questions
and a certificate for those successfully completing the test.

World Blood Donor Day

Today is world blood donor day – the day we celebrate and thank all those who come in and donate! The theme for 2017 is: Don’t wait until disaster strikes – come and donate NOW!

In crisis or emergency situation, the natural human response is “What can I do? How can I help?”. Therefore, the slogan for the 2017 campaign is: What can you do?, with the secondary message: Give blood. Give now. Give often.

The campaign underlines the role every single person can play in helping others in emergency situations, by giving the valuable gift of blood. It also focuses on the fact that it is important to give bloo

d regularly, so that the blood stock is sufficient before an emergency arises.

Annual Report 2016

The EBA Annual Report is out. A great many things again kept EBA busy and the outcomes proved to be good! the report can be downloaded here [6MB], or read online on Issuu.

EBA Annual Report 2015

EBA is proud to present its 2015 Annual Report. Looking back, we’ve achieved a lot in 2015. It was a year with a clear focus on Risk Management: in collaboration with other organisations EBA was able to present the EUFRAT tool and the Risk Based Decision Making tool to its members and the blood transfusion community. These tools now prove already their value, with the outbreak of Zika virus disease and the consequential deferral measures needed.

Also, within the EBA there were milestones to report: EBA  welcomed Kari Aranko as successor of Gilles Folléa as the Executive Director; the Collaborative Procurement Manager started the ‘Blood sampling collection
system’ Project and EBAse saw the light: the new members’ intranet site.

We hope you enjoy reading this!

EBA_annual_report_2015 [download, 10 MB]

EBA annual report 2015  [online reading]

ECDC EUFRAT Tool on line

What chance does a travelling donor run of getting infected on a tropical vacation and introducing this pathogen into the blood supply? That is the question to which the EUFRAT tool can give an answer. EUFRAT is an online tool that can estimate this risk based on the input of a relatively limited number of variables.The EBA contributed to the development of the EUFRAT tool in collaboration with the ECDC and University of Utrecht Medical Centre.

The EUFRAT tool can be accessed on:

RBDM – Communiqué 8


We are very pleased to announce that the Risk-Based Decision-Making Framework for Blood Safety is now online.  The Framework has been transformed into a user-friendly, interactive online tool that guides the user through the step-by-step decision-making process. It also provides guidance on risk management policy foundations and principles that are core to good decision-making. A suite of worksheets, charts, diagrams, reference material, and examples complete the toolkit.

The Framework can be found on the Alliance of Blood Operators (ABO) website at

(Important note: It is recommended that Internet Explorer users upgrade above IE 7 to optimise the functionality of the tool.)  We encourage you to become familiar with the site; you will find that it is constructed in a simple, logical manner and using it is quite intuitive.  We would be very happy to get your feedback and answer any questions you may have as well.  You can contact us by email at

Thanks and Sincere Appreciation

We would like to thank the many contributors who have devoted significant effort over the past three years to see the framework come to life.  Sincere thanks go out to the project team who worked diligently and tirelessly, the many stakeholders who provided valuable insight and suggestions that improved the framework, partner organisations that supported the need to change the decision-making paradigm, and the design team who translated an unwieldy document into an engaging interactive tool.

Next Steps

Over the next few months, ABO will be scheduling orientation webinars to walk users through the risk-based decision-making process, provide guidance and answer questions.  The schedule of webinars will be posted on the ABO website, currently targeted for November.  In the meantime, please feel free to contact ABO if you have questions.

Refresher – What is the Risk-Based Decision-Making Framework and why should we use it?

This Risk-Based Decision-Making Framework can help you identify, assess, act on, and communicate risk in a manner suited to each situation. The framework helps organise and simplify the decision-making process by breaking it down into a series of logical and manageable steps.

The framework can be used when you face a new decision about blood safety. It is flexible enough that you can adapt it to your own regulatory structures, local conditions, and needs.

The framework’s objectives are to:

  • Optimise the safety of the blood supply while recognising that elimination of all risk is not possible
  • Allocate resources in proportion to the magnitude and seriousness of the risk and the effectiveness of the interventions to reduce risk
  • Assess and incorporate the social, economic, and ethical factors that may affect decisions about risk

The framework consists of six sequential stages. In the first stage, you will review foundational material and gain understanding of how the framework is organised. The remaining stages — problem formulation, participation strategy, assessment, evaluation, and decision — are common to many decision frameworks. Each stage has a purpose and a process and includes several decision-support tools in an interactive PDF format that can be filled out and saved on your hard drive.  Risk management principles, assessment principles, stakeholder involvement and risk communications, and risk tolerability inform the decision-making process at all stages.

RBDM – Communiqué 7

A Finished Framework

Since the last Communiqué, the first edition of the Risk-Based Decision-Making (RBDM) Framework has reached its final form. The content of the framework has just undergone an intensive round of revisions based on the feedback drawn from stakeholder consultation, from a feasibility test, and from the recommendations of the Steering Committee. The finalized framework document with the most complete and up-to-date content is now available online at the ABO website.

The framework is being converted into an interactive, multimedia tool that will also be available on the ABO website. This approach will permit the user to define a unique path through the content, creating a tailored approach to the decision-making process; this online tool should be ready for use by August 2015.

The Framework in Action

The finished framework has already been applied to some risk issues; for example, since the last communiqué the AABB Board asked the RBDM project team to help them use the framework to advance their deliberations on babesia screening. A small working group conducted some of the early steps of the framework, relating to issue characterization, to bring to the full Board at its January meeting. In the words of AABB President Lynne Uhl, “we had a lively and educational discussion on Risk-Based Decision Making, or RBDM, for Blood Safety… In this exciting session, all AABB board members had the opportunity to run through the critical thinking process needed to engage in effective RBDM strategies and prepare outcomes to address Babesia screening concerns.” Following the Board session, an AABB working group led by Dr. Lou Katz has continued to work on this issue using the concepts in the RBDM framework. Various ABO organizations have also targeted certain risk issues to which they will apply the framework process.

Moving Forward

In order to promote blood sector uptake of the framework, ensure its continuous improvement, and to foster integration of the framework with the approaches of other participants in the blood sector, an ongoing Risk-Based Decision-Making Working Group will be created under Alliance of Blood Operators governance. This working group’s activities will include developing an awareness-building strategy for the framework, including a series of presentations for key industry events; facilitating the use of the framework with case studies, workshops and other measures; and monitoring the impact of the framework on blood safety decision making with an eye to its continued improvement.

In the coming months, there will be an RBDM poster presentation at the International Society of Blood Transfusion conference in London in late June 2015, and an AABB education session on using the framework in October 2015.

Questions about the project or suggestions about how we can better communicate with you can be directed to the RBDM project team.

EBA Annual Report 2014

The EBA’s Annual report 2014 is ready. Full of actions and accomplishments by the EBA Team and volunteers helping EBA!

The report can be viewed here (PDF, 3.7 mb) or online on Issuu.

(Re)Introducing EBA Staff

Dr. Kari Aranko, Finnish national, is the successor of Dr. Gilles Folléa (French national) and is EBA Executive Director. He represents the EBA with external contacts and liaises with EBA members. He is head of the EBA office and prepares the decisions for the EBA Executive Board.

Joëlle Guerra, French national, is the Collaborative Procurement Manager. She is setting up projects to support the EBA members in the field of collaborative procurement and liaises with EBA Working Groups to advance these projects.

Willemijn Kramer, Dutch national, is Communications and Administations Officer. She writes or edits the EBA communication to the members and other stakeholders, admins the Website and EBA members site. She also advises on the governance according to the national rules of an association.

Karin Liefting, Dutch national, is Management Assistant, and supports the EBA staff with administrative issues, such as scheduling meetings and keeping track of invoices.

RBDM – Communiqué 6

The Alliance of Blood Operators (ABO) is a network of over 90 blood operators from America’s Blood Centers, American Red Cross, NHSBT, EBA and Australian Red Cross Blood Service. ABO seeks to be a high performing international collaboration of blood operators which drives local performance improvement, knowledge exchange and resolution of global strategic issues for the benefit of the patients and health systems served by its members. ABO is the initiator of the RBDM Project. Every so often, the Project team writes a communiqué on the progress of this immense work.

Testing the Framework

Since the last communiqué, the Risk-Based Decision-Making (RBDM) Project Team conducted consultation events with a broad range of stakeholders interested in the risk-based decision-making framework.  The feedback we received has been rich and valuable and we are now using it to improve the framework.  Our second focus was a feasibility test to “stress” the framework.  The objective of this stress test was to identify if there were gaps in the framework or sections that needed to be adjusted.

Using a fictional scenario that described a newly emerging pathogen with the potential to negatively affect the blood supply, specially assigned teams stepped through the RBDM process, identifying the issues related to the scenario, developing the problem statement, identifying the risk management options and then undertaking relevant risk assessments.  In the case of this scenario, it was determined that the range of assessments would include blood safety, operational, health economics, social concern, legal, regulatory, and stakeholder engagement.  A “decision makers” group acted as a mock management team and used the assessments to make their recommendations to address the emerging issue.

All participants agreed the framework helped them logically think through the problem facing them and to gather the relevant information to make a good decision.  The exercise did highlight a few areas where the framework could benefit from various refinements, a more user-friendly approach, and some additional tools, and we are making the necessary revisions.  The plan is to release the final version of the framework no later than March 31, 2015.  It will be available on the Alliance of Blood Operators website.


Sharing the Framework

Awareness building and targeted consultation is an ongoing activity.  An event of note was a face-to-face consultation with a group of key regulators where we presented the framework and received positive and constructive feedback about use of such a tool.

The framework was also a focal point at the AABB annual meeting in Philadelphia where we held an education session, explaining key components of the framework such as the risk management foundations and framework structure, the importance of stakeholder engagement, and how health economics is used in the decision-making process.  The session was well attended and many of the attendees visited the RBDM exhibitors’ booth to obtain more information.


Coming Up

Over the next two months our efforts will be devoted to finalizing the framework, incorporating the good ideas we received from the consultations and addressing the adjustments identified by the feasibility test.  We also plan to have the framework peer reviewed by risk experts for a final level of assurance of its effectiveness before it is published.


The RBDM Project Team