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Vaccines, Blood & Biologics

Public Workshop - Quarantine Release Errors in Blood Establishments

September 13, 2011
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Workshop Goals and Objectives

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing a public workshop entitled: “Quarantine Release Errors in Blood Establishments.” The purpose of this public workshop is to provide a forum for discussion of quarantine release errors (QREs) and provide FDA and industry with information necessary to reduce the rates of QREs. The workshop will focus on the extent and characteristics of QREs in blood establishments and the specifications of blood establishment computer software (BECS) as they relate to inventory control. The public workshop has been planned in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, America’s Blood Centers and AABB. This public workshop will include presentations and panel discussions by experts knowledgeable in this field from government agencies and industry.

QREs refer to the inadvertent release of blood or blood components either before completion of testing and determination that all other criteria affecting the safety, purity or potency of the product have been met, or despite findings that would render the blood or blood components unsuitable for release. Although QREs that result in the distribution of blood or blood components are required to be reported to FDA as biologic product deviation reports (BPDRs), the amount of information provided in BPDRs varies and often represents a summary of information rather than a detailed description and analysis of the problem. Thus, the root causes of QREs are not known with certainty. Further, the rates of QREs are also not known with certainty, and actions necessary to correct and prevent them are unclear.

There has been a recent focus on QREs related to the release of units with incomplete or absent testing for transfusion-transmitted infectious diseases. On June 10-11, 2010, the HHS Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability (the Committee) met to discuss the current FDA blood donor deferral policy on men who have sex with other men. While the Committee recommended that the current deferral policy not be changed at the present time, it found the current policy to be suboptimal in permitting some potentially high risk donations while preventing some low risk donations. The Committee made a number of recommendations and indicated that HHS should take action to investigate and reduce the risk of QREs in blood collection establishments.

This public workshop will serve as a forum for discussion of QREs and provide FDA and industry with information necessary to reduce the rates of QREs. The public workshop presentations and panel discussions will: (1) Review recent BPDR data to better determine the root causes for QREs and identify activities that could address those causes; (2) evaluate the use of 510 (k) cleared BECS or implementation of BECS performance standards in reducing the rate of QREs; and (3) explore other potential strategies to address QREs. The public workshop will conclude with a summary of the issues discussed.


The Universities at Shady Grove Conference Center
Building II, Multipurpose Room
9630 Gudelsky Drive
Rockville, MD 20850

Please visit for directions, visitor parking, and public transportation information. 


There is no registration fee for the workshop. Early registration is recommended before September 1, 2011 as seating is limited. Registration on the day of the workshop will be provided on a space available basis beginning at 7:30 a.m. To register, complete the attached registration form in this announcement and mail, fax or e-mail it to Rhonda Dawson, Food and Drug Administration, HFM-302, 1401 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852; Fax: 301-827-2843; E-mail:

If you need special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Rhonda Dawson at least seven days in advance of the workshop.

For Program Information Contact

Rhonda Dawson
Program Coordinator
Food and Drug Administration
Office of Blood Research & Review
Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research
1401 Rockville Pike, HFM-302
Rockville , MD 20852
Phone: 301-827-6129
Fax: 301-827-2843

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