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Honoring Those Who Collect Blood, Medicine's Most Vital Natural Resource
Date:9/10/2010

LAKE ZURICH, Ill. and BETHESDA, Md., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Blood collection professionals are the connection between blood donors and the life-saving blood therapies people rely on every day.  After a long holiday weekend like Labor Day in the United States, when donors are in short supply and accidents are typically on the rise, blood donation is even more important – and so is the job of blood-collection professionals.

Blood-collection professionals will be recognized in communities worldwide September 12-18, 2010, as part of the 6th Annual Blood Collectors Week, sponsored jointly by Fenwal Inc. and AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks).  During the week, blood centers will host celebrations, often with local government officials, to recognize their staffs and donors.  Individuals are encouraged to give back to their respective communities and honor these professionals by contacting their local blood collection facility to schedule an appointment to donate blood.

"Blood collectors play a vital role in the transfusion medicine community as they are charged with making every effort to provide a positive experience for the blood donor," said Karen Shoos Lipton, chief executive officer of AABB.  "These professionals help ensure that blood is readily available to patients whenever and wherever it is needed."

According to AABB data, approximately 30 million blood components are transfused annually in the United States alone.  Blood transfusions are a critical component in the treatment of patients with serious medical conditions, from cancer to major surgery, as well as accident and trauma victims.  People typically receive transfusions of red blood cells, platelets or plasma.  Red blood cells are the most frequently needed blood component.

"The need for blood never stops, and the knowledge and commitment of blood collectors help assure blood is available to meet the need for critical medical therapies," said Ron Labrum, Fenwal president and chief executive officer.  "Blood Collectors Week is a tribute to this important profession and Fenwal is honored to partner with AABB, blood centers and communities nationwide to recognize these outstanding professionals."

Blood collection organizations estimate that every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood.  Blood donors are the only source of blood for transfusion.

Blood collectors serve an important role helping individuals select the best donation option based on local blood supply needs, their blood type and donor qualifications.  Type O negative is the universal blood type for red cells, and type AB is the universal blood type for platelets and plasma.  To donate blood, one must be healthy, and meet age, weight and other donor requirements.

To contact a local blood center or to learn more about blood donation, visit www.aabb.org.  For more information about Blood Collectors Week, visit www.bloodcollectors.org.

About AABB

AABB is an international, not-for-profit association representing individuals and institutions involved in the field of transfusion medicine and cellular therapies. The association is committed to improving health by developing and delivering standards, accreditation and educational programs that focus on optimizing patient and donor care and safety. AABB membership consists of nearly 2,000 institutions and 8,000 individuals, including physicians, nurses, scientists, researchers, administrators, medical technologists and other health care providers. Members are located in more than 80 countries. For more information, please visit www.aabb.org.

About Fenwal

Fenwal Inc. is a global medical technology company focused on improving blood collection, filtration, separation, storage and transfusion to ensure the availability, safety and effectiveness of blood components.  Fenwal is unique in the depth of its experience and commitment to transfusion medicine.  The company offers the broadest range of products for the automated and manual collection of blood and blood components.  Fenwal became an independent company in 2007, but its roots go back to 1949 with the founding of Fenwal Laboratories.  Fenwal developed the first flexible, single-use container for blood collection, eliminating complications associated with glass containers and allowing blood to be separated into therapeutic components.  Today, the company's products and advanced collection and separation technologies are used to help treat patients on six continents.  Fenwal Inc. is based in Lake Zurich, Illinois.  For more information, please visit www.fenwalinc.com.


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SOURCE Fenwal Inc.; AABB
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