Marie Forrestal, ADRP President-Elect, represented ADRP at the China Society of Blood Transfusion’s conference in Xiamen, China in November. The trip was sponsored by Terumo BCT China and coordinated by Marketing Manager, Mindy Xu. Conference attendees came from blood centers in all of the Chinese provinces. Blood banking in China has made great strides, but there is still work to be done and challenges to overcome. In the most populous country in the world, the demand for blood outpaces donations. The aging population and the recently lifted cap of one child per family are a main source of the disparity between the need for blood and available donors. Each province faces unique cultural and logistical challenges for blood centers as well. Areas with a large concentration of universities have much higher donation rates than rural areas. Corporate and business communities are not utilized to their potential due to the low penetration rate in these area. Terumo has been committed to helping with this progress, part of which is to teach donor recruitment skills and retention methodology.
Ms. Xu said “as a global leader in blood component, therapeutic apheresis and cellular technologies, Terumo BCT believes in the potential of blood to do even more for patients than it does today. This belief inspires our innovation and strengthens our collaboration with customers. In China, we are a trustworthy partner who is working with CSBT (China Society of Blood Transfusion) closely to strive to make even safer, high-quality transfusions available to more patients. We will continue to support the biennial CSBT conference and look forward to more communication and collaboration with all kinds of organization like ADRP. We are strongly convinced that ADRP’s experience will benefit donors and blood centers globally.”
Ms. Forrestal’s presentation, “Donor Recruitment and Retention - A United States and New York Perspective,” was attended by about 300 CSBT members and sponsors. It included top-down leadership in the corporate sector to increase and institutionalize donations and marketing techniques using personal stories of blood recipients via their social media channel. Several physicians in attendance were very interested in United States legislation and data on decreasing the donation age from 18 to 17, which would vastly improve availability of blood.
The trip was an incredible experience according to Marie. “The team from Terumo was extremely gracious and the experience of sharing both common and uncommon challenges in blood banking was a humbling experience. The mix of new and old in China is so striking and the commitment and interest in leveraging modern blood donor recruitment techniques was inspiring. Many of the things that we take for granted in the United States are still being worked through and with the commitment and leadership for CBST great progress in on the horizon”.
This is the fifth trip to China by an ADRP representative to share donor recruitment and collections techniques with our international colleagues.