The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health has launched a seven-year multicenter research program to extend a highly successful program assessing blood banking (blood collection, screening, and processing strategies) and transfusion medicine practices. Research conducted both in the U.S. and internationally under the Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study-III (REDS-III) will focus on improving transfusion benefits and reducing its risks.
The objectives of REDS-III are to ensure safe and effective blood banking and transfusion medicine practices through a comprehensive, multi-targeted strategy involving basic, translational, and clinical research. REDS-III will target the following blood banking and transfusion medicine areas:
- Blood donor targeted strategies
- Blood banking
- Transfusion practices
- Education and training
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Improving blood component safety and availability in the United States and internationally through the conduct of epidemiologic, survey, and laboratory studies is the cornerstone of the REDS program
which began in 1989.
REDS-III will build upon and extend the findings of the original REDS and REDS-II programs, and cover several new research areas. These include finding new ways to enhance transfusion safety and the practice of blood banking as well as helping reduce the transmission of HIV and other infectious agents, such as hepatitis B and C, in nations in which these agents continue to limit the safety of the blood supply.