AABB (American Association of Blood Banks)
The AABB (American Association of Blood Banks) is a professional body and standards organization that was founded in 1947. While based in the United States, the organization is international, with members in 80 countries.
AABB standards have been developed by experts in the field and consist of both quality and technical elements of blood banking, transfusion medicine and cellular therapies – cord blood banking being one of their main competencies.
AABB accreditation is a voluntary assessment programme, and facilities that chose to seek AABB accreditation do so out of their desire for and commitment to continuous improvement, education and quality.
AABB accreditation assures donors and clients that a cord blood bank is delivering a quality service that complies with minimum acceptable requirements that cover all aspects of the facilities operations:
- Product qualification, testing, processing, storage and release of the cord blood unit
- The consent, donor screening and collection process
- Process for approval of vendors providing supplies
- Equipment and facility maintenance
- Process for staff selection and training
- Process to monitor and improve quality of service
Accreditation with AABB involves a detailed and lengthy application process, during which the facility is assessed by a team with experience in the cord blood field. AABB assessors review a facility’s medical, technical and administrative performance. This peer review process reaffirms sound practices, and offers useful guidance and recommendations to assist a facility in its endeavour to sustain continuous improvement and innovation. Accreditation is then awarded for a two year period, after which the facility must go through another assessment. As such, AABB accreditation is a stringent and costly accreditation standard.
There are currently 81 AABB accredited cord blood banks worldwide, with Netcells being the first cord blood bank in Southern Africa to receive this accreditation. We have successfully undergone 3 accreditation processes. This ensures parents that their baby’s stem cells are safely stored and adhere to international standards for collection, processing, testing, storage and distribution.