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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 8, 2004

DeGowin Blood Center Earns American Association Of Blood Banks Accreditation

The DeGowin Blood Center at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics recently earned accreditation by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), according to Judy Levitt, section manager for the blood center.

Accreditation follows an intensive on-site assessment by specially trained AABB assessors and establishes that the level of medical, technical and administrative performance within the facility meets or exceeds the standards set by AABB. By successfully meeting those requirements, the DeGowin Blood Center joins approximately 2,000 similar facilities across the United States and abroad that have earned AABB Accreditation.

"The AABB accreditation procedures are voluntary," Levitt explained. "The DeGowin Blood Center has sought AABB accreditation because this program assists facilities around the country in achieving excellence by promoting a level of professional and medical expertise that contributes to quality performance."

Since 1958, the AABB has been engaged in the accreditation of blood banks and transfusion services. The accreditation program assists blood banks and transfusion services in determining whether methods, procedures, personnel knowledge, equipment and physical plant meet established requirements. The minimum requirements for accreditation of blood banks and transfusion services are based primarily on the AABB's "Standards for Blood Banks and Transfusion Services." These standards not only reflect the level of professional proficiency for blood banks and transfusion services in the United States, but also provide the basis for practice in similar facilities around the world.

Established in 1947, the AABB is the international association of community blood centers, hospital blood banks and transfusion and transplantation services. Individual members include health care professionals in blood banking and transfusion medicine. Its member facilities are responsible for collecting virtually all of the nation's blood supply and for transfusing more than 80 percent of the blood used for patient care in the United States. The AABB sets standards, assesses and accredits blood collection, and transfusion facilities, and provides continuing education and information to its members.

UI Hospitals and Clinics is the state's only academic medical center. University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at http://www.uihealthcare.com.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room 8798 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, thomas-moore@uiowa.edu.Writer: Mitch Overton.