Another Great AABB Meeting Experience

Always an enjoyable, enriching and inspiring time for those in blood banking — the AABB Annual Meeting took place October 19-22, 2019, in the Lone Star State in beautiful San Antonio.   With over 4,000 attendees, this conference is the world’s preeminent meeting on blood bank education and research. Many of our Transfusion Medicine staff and faculty were among those in attendance.

It was a busy few days, but all of us left with new knowledge and ideas on how to ensure we are providing the best possible care for our patients.

The AABB offered many educational sessions, committee meetings, networking events, and an exhibit hall of vendors. The Division of Transfusion Medicine was involved in assessor training, committees, educational sessions, and poster presentations.

Lactococcus discovered in secondary apheresis platelet bacterial culture.
Reduction in tissue wastage poster.
Educational session on reagent QC.
From left, Lisa, Sandra, Heather, Christi and Kim of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Blood Bank.
Lorraine, second from right, and some of her cohorts from across the country at the “Test Your Blood Bank Knowledge” presentation.

We were proud to see Blood Bank director Dr. Eric Gehrie accept the 2019 RISE (Research Innovation in Scientific Excellence) Award on behalf of the co-authors of the paper, “Blood Utilization and Mortality in Victims of Gun Violence.”

Dr. Eric Gehrie holding his award with Debra BenAvram, executive officer, and Michael Murphy, M.D., president of the AABB.

On Sunday, October 20, Hopkins faculty and staff gathered for a dinner that included our former, current, and future transfusion medicine fellows. Everyone enjoyed the time together.

Seated, from left: Maria Bettinotti, Julie Karp, Aaron Tobian, Paul Ness, Lorraine Blagg, and Heather Smetana. First row, from left: Evan Bloch, Robert Kruse, Patricia Brunker, Ruchika Goel, Monica Pagano, Melissa Cushing, Andrea McGonigle, Kristen Buban, Jordan Ippolito, Victoria Costa, Sandra Thoman, and Elizabeth Crowe. Second row, from left: Alexander Fenwick, Matthew Karafin, Patricia Shi, Hua Shan, Darrell Triulzi, Jeffrey Bailey, Christi Marshall, Karaleigh Leonard, Kayla Erculiani, Kimberly Charity, Lisa Shifflett, Parvez Lokhandwala and Christopher Gonzalez.

Impressions by Kayla, Karaleigh, and Kristen

Kayla Erculiani, lead technologist at Johns Hopkins Transfusion Medicine Laboratory, found the AABB Conference to be very enjoyable and educational. “It was a great opportunity to learn about up-and-coming technologies and research studies. I found it very helpful to learn about other philosophies, instrumentation, products, and policies. I enjoyed networking with others who share the same passion for patient care and transfusion medicine.”

Kayla Erculiani, AABB 2019.

Karaleigh Leonard, one of our specialist in blood banking students at Johns Hopkins Hospital, said she really enjoyed walking through the Expo. “It was so interesting talking with the company representatives and exciting to see the live demonstrations of new instrumentation. The field is constantly evolving and it is great to see the new advances in person.”

Kristen Buban, a specialist in blood banking student at Johns Hopkins Hospital, enjoyed the Wizardry School for Antigens and Antibodies. “They took different blood bank scenarios and gave them a Harry Potter twist. Who wouldn’t love that!?”

Kristen Buban, AABB 2019.

Kristen recommends planning ahead for 2020 as there is so much to see, and next year the AABB is coming to Baltimore, October 3-6, 2020.   Hope to see you there!


Lorraine N. Blagg MA, MLS(ASCP)SBB
Education & Development Coordinator
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Transfusion Medicine Division

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