Blood vials in a tube rotator

New York Blood Center collects an estimated 4,000 units of blood each day and distributes almost 1 million blood products annually. Throughout its 55+ year legacy, the nonprofit has also served more than 75 million patients and over 500 hospitals. Today, NYBC remains one of the largest independent, community-based blood centers in the world. However, they are much more than a blood center.

NYBC leverages the experience and expertise of New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe). Comprising nine total divisions, NYBCe fulfills a four-part mission as listed on its website:

  • To provide the highest quality blood and stem cell products and related medical and consultative services to hospitals and patients primarily in the greater New York metropolitan area.
  • To conduct the highest quality, novel and innovative research in the fields of hematology, blood banking and transfusion medicine, and cellular therapies, thus advancing these fields and positively impacting public health.
  • To develop products, technologies, and services in the fields of hematology, blood banking, and transfusion medicine and cellular therapies, with the potential to have worldwide humanitarian impact.
  • To train the next generation of leaders in each of these fields.

Training the Next Generation of Leaders

While listed fourth, training and educating leaders in blood banking and transfusion medicine is just as crucial as the other facets of NYBCe’s mission.

“Our resources give our customers and the blood banking and transfusion medicine communities a chance to learn from some of the best and brightest experts in the field,” says Lynsi Rahorst, MHPE, MT(ASCP) SBBCM, NYBCe’s Manager of Education and Training for the Immunohematology Reference and Genomics Laboratories.

These initiatives go beyond individual professional development, though. By sharing its resources and knowledge, NYBCe shapes the landscape of global healthcare and scientific discovery. As a result, NYBCe and other life science organizations are able to develop the next generation of therapeutic agents in areas of high unmet need and pave the way for new blood products, techniques, and more.

Professional education is just one way NYBCe is fighting for a healthier future.

6 Educational Resources to Access Through NYBCe

Let’s take a look at some of the specific resources on blood banking and transfusion medicine you can access through NYBCe’s Education Resources website right now.

1.    Experience in Blood Banking (EBB)

Now that the live, weekly webinars of the Essentials of Transfusion Medicine Webinar Series (ETMWS) are coming to a close, do you find yourself hungry for more blood banking educational content? NYBCe Education Resources website has you covered.

Not only is there a link to the ETMWS recordings (that you may view for P.A.C.E. credit), the NYBCe Education Resources web page offers so much more educational content in transfusion medicine and blood banking, at various levels of instruction. One of the resources available on the NYBCe Education Resources website  is Community Blood Center’s (CBC) Experience in Blood Banking courses.

For decades, the Immunohematology Reference Laboratory at Community Blood Center has hosted annual Experience in Blood Banking (EBB) courses for the local blood banking community, including medical laboratory science students, blood bank and generalist technologists, transfusion services managers, supervisors, residents, and fellows.

These courses provide information on blood banking with an emphasis on immunohematology testing, methods, and case studies. The format of the courses has evolved over the years, but currently two different EBB courses are offered: EBB:101, which covers the fundamentals of blood banking; and EBB: Advanced, focusing on advanced serologic and genomic testing. Attendees of EBB courses can earn free P.A.C.E. credits with submission of a course evaluation.

In August of 2020, Community Blood Center offered its first virtual EBB: Advanced due to COVID restrictions. In the Spring of 2021, virtual EBB:101 was offered. Both of these courses consisted of a series of weekly webinars, and are still available for viewing for P.A.C.E. credit.

Experience in Blood Banking: Advanced (Recorded in August 2020)

This course consists of four 1.5-hour webinars and offers attendees up to six P.A.C.E. contact hours. The intended audience for EBB: Advanced is blood bank technologists, supervisors, and managers, though anyone wishing to dive deeply into the world of immunohematology and genomics will benefit from this course.

Speakers at EBB: Advanced are experts from CBC’s Immunohematology Reference Laboratory, the National Center for Blood Group Genomics, and New York Blood Center’s Laboratory of Immunohematology. Topics covered include antibodies to high and low prevalence antigens, ABO genotyping when A1 lectin testing is inconclusive, warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia following stem cell transplant, and platelet antibody testing. Presentations often include case studies to emphasize key points and engage the audience.

The 2020 EBB:Advanced course will be available to view for P.A.C.E. credit only until July 31, 2021.

Experience in Blood Banking: 101 (Recorded in March-April 2021)

This course consists of eight 1.5 hour webinars, and offers a total of 12 P.A.C.E. contact hours. Medical laboratory science students and generalist technologists wishing to brush up on their blood banking knowledge are two groups who will benefit from EBB:101, though anyone hoping for an entry-level approach to blood banking will find the information in this course useful.

General blood banking topics such as infectious disease testing, component utilization, visual inspection of blood products and transfusion reactions are included. In addition, the course covers fundamental immunohematology topics such as antibody identification, DATs and eluates, serologic case studies. and hemolytic disease of the fetus/newborn.

While the Experience in Blood Banking courses are free for everyone, they will only be available for a limited time.

2.    eLearning in Transfusion Medicine

Not everyone learns the same. Rather than listen passively to a lecture, some people prefer to have a more interactive experience. New York Blood Center Enterprises is proud to offer eLearning in Transfusion Medicine.

eLearning courses are distinctive in that they are interactive and require learner participation as educational content is presented. Several eLearning courses are currently available, and new courses are added regularly. These courses are designed to take the learner 30-60 minutes to complete, and are worth 0.5-1.0 P.A.C.E. contact hours. The intended audience for eLearning courses is medical laboratory scientists, though anyone interested in the topics may access and complete the courses.

Topics covered by eLearning courses span blood banking and transfusion medicine. Transfusion reactions, Babesia testing, autoimmune hemolytic, and warfarin reversal are just some of the topics currently available.

If you are interested in these courses, we recommend checking back often, as content is rotated and new courses are added regularly. Also, while the eLearning courses are free for everyone, they will only be available for a limited time.

3.    Quick Lessons in Immunohematology

New York Blood Center Enterprises is proud to offer “Quick Lessons” in Immunohematology, which provide information on a variety of immunohematology topics in an easy-to-digest format.

Each “Quick Lesson” is a brief, downloadable PDF that thoroughly explains an immunhematologic concept, provides examples, reinforces learning with case studies, and concludes with a short assessment based on the learning objectives.

“Quick Lessons” are ideal educational material for individuals who are learning the fundamentals of blood banking, but may also be beneficial to anyone wishing to refresh knowledge of a specific subject.

Laboratory science students, blood bank technologists, residents, or fellows will find valuable information on several topics. Fundamental topics like “Elution and Eluates” and “Titration” describe commonly used methods and discuss routine applications, whereas “Anti-CD38” and “Antibody to a High Prevalence Antigen” dive into contemporary issues in blood bank testing and complex serologic investigations.

Whether you are new to blood banking or just wish to have a deeper understanding of immunohematologic concepts, you are sure to find valuable information in the form of “Quick Lessons” in Immunohematology.

4.    Resident Rotation: Immunohematology Reference Laboratory

The Resident Rotation: Immunohematology Reference Laboratory web page was originally designed to provide a comprehensive immunohematology reference laboratory (IRL) experience to pathology residents while minimizing time actually spent in the laboratory due to social distancing guidelines.

The Resident Rotation: IRL consists of seven consecutive modules that increase in complexity. The rotation begins with fundamentals, like hemagglutination, and works up to complex serologic methods like elution and adsorption. A handbook is available for download to accompany the instruction provided in each module.

Modules contain explanations, case study examples, interactive quizzes to assess understanding, and videos of how to perform blood bank methods. Topics covered include ABO/Rh testing, antibody screens, antibody identification and interpreting antibody panels. As complexity increases, antigen typing, DATs and eluates, and differential adsorptions are explained in depth.

Although these modules were originally designed for pathology residents, because they start at the most basic of immunohematology concepts and build on knowledge until finally discussing highly complex serologic methods, the modules can serve as excellent educational material for a variety of learners.

5.    Immunohematology Method Videos

A picture may be worth a thousand words, and a video of a laboratory method provides explanation and insight that surpass that offered by reading a procedure or a package insert.

The New York Blood Center Enterprises Education Resources website contains a link to several Immunohematology Method Videos, including standard testing like ABO/Rh; antibody screen in tube, gel, and solid phase; and direct antiglobulin testing (DAT). In addition, more esoteric testing such as acid elution and differential adsorption, is included.

These videos may be helpful to medical laboratory science students just learning the fundamentals of blood bank testing. New technologists training in the blood bank may also benefit, along with residents or fellows who are just being introduced to immunohematology concepts. These videos can be a valuable resource to technologists who may not perform some of these methods at their institution, but would like to better understand the testing.

6.    Laboratory Science Student Resources

New York Blood Center Enterprises is proud to support the development of new blood bankers!

In the Laboratory Science Student Resources section of the New York Blood Center Enterprises Education Resources website, you will find learning modules and presentations designed for MLS/MLT students who are learning blood banking principles. Laboratory science students may review these modules to strengthen their understanding, while MLS/MLT Programs may choose to incorporate the modules into their routine instruction.

An interactive module on ABO discrepancies walks through the steps of identifying and resolving ABO discrepancies using a case-based approach. Resolution of ABO discrepancies can be a difficult concept to learn because appropriate samples may be challenging to procure, and appropriate reagents may not be available. This module provides examples, demonstrates methods, and encourages learner engagement.

A module comparing blood bank methodologies is also available. After explaining the three methodologies utilized in blood bank testing (tube, gel, and solid phase), this module incorporates videos that demonstrate how to perform testing using each method. A chart is provided to help students compare and contrast the different methodologies. Often, laboratory science students don’t have access to all three methods at their training site, so this module offers beneficial information that prepares students for a future as a blood banker.

Ready Student videos are presentations specifically geared toward laboratory science students. The Ready Student One video introduces the Immunohematology Reference Laboratory (IRL) and explains how an IRL differs from a transfusion service. In addition, it provides a behind-the-scenes look at an IRL and the resources available that are used to resolve the most complex serologic investigations.

The Ready Student 2 video includes a case study approach to antibody identification using specialized reference laboratory methods like red blood cell phenotyping, testing a selected cell panel and testing enzyme-modified cells. In addition, this video covers strategies for acquiring rare blood for patients who need it. Learners may actively participate with periodic quiz questions and can follow along by downloading the provided case panels.

Support Professional Education at NYBCe

Visit NYBCe’s Education Resources to stay up to date with the Enterprise’s professional education opportunities. New resources and programs are posted here regularly!

If you’d like to help NYBCe continue to offer convenient, high-quality educational content and support their mission to train the next generation of blood banking and transfusion medicine leaders, please consider making a financial contribution online today.

Browse NYBCe’s Education Resources