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Blood Centers Encouraged to Report Bag Shortages

A shortage of BioFlex blood bags made by Fresenius Kabi is impacting an estimated 10-15% of whole blood collections, America’s Blood Centers and Blood Centers of America reported the first week of March. The organizations are encouraging blood centers to report bag shortages and their impact on collections to the Food and Drug Administration.
America’s Blood Centers (ABC) and Blood Centers of America, Inc. (BCA) developed a joint letter this week that outlines the current challenges facing blood centers due to a shortage of the Fresenius Kabi manufactured “BioFlex” blood bags. ABC and BCA members “project that 10-15 percent of all whole blood collections are impacted by this shortage.”
The letter highlights the challenges of the pandemic that led to the bag shortage and lists mitigation strategies taken to avert blood shortages. It also describes the potential impact of the supply chain shortage on hospitals. ABC and BCA are encouraging member blood centers to use the letter as a communications tool with their hospitals.

ABC plans to specifically address this topic as one of the issues discussed during meetings with U.S. Senators and Representatives during the ABC Virtual Advocacy Day on March 16th and urges blood centers to participate and do the same. Additionally, blood centers may notify any local, state, or regional health care coalitions (HCCs) of this issue.

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