EBA Research Grant

This EBA Research and Development Grant is based on the consideration that practical research in the field of blood components, tissues and cells is often excluded from the main research grants. The main goal of the proposal is that it should demonstrably improve EBA members’ performance or improve safety of blood, tissues and cells products.

Every year, EBA invites all members and members’ employees to submit a proposal for the EBA Research and Development Grant .Key conditions for submitting a grant application:

  • The project leader has to be an employee of an EBA Member organisation and the work has to be hosted by an EBA member organization;
  • The deliverables need to be practically applicable for the members. Thus fundamental basic research is excluded. Projects which are considered as blood establishment´s normal process improvement are also excluded from this grant;
  • Research/project is not covered by any other grants (information on other pending applications should be disclosed);
  • Maximum amount for an individual grant is €50.000. The committee may decide to divide the total amount available over more than one proposal;
  • The submitting blood service needs to commit to co-funding of the proposal.

In 2012 MIMI (Missing Minorities) was EBA’s first own funded project aimed at increasing minority representation in the donor population. It focused on the issue why minority groups are underrepresented and how these groups can be motivated to become blood donors.

In 2018, two projects were awarded a grant:

1/ Towards evidence-based Patient Blood Management: systematic reviews to scientifically underpin the management of preoperative anemia. 

Acute or chronic bleeding, iron deficiency, renal and oncological diseases may lead to anemia, especially in elderly patients. Blood then contains less hemoglobin, the molecule transporting oxygen in blood. And when a patient loses blood by an accident or major surgery, the amount of red blood cells carrying vital oxygen decreases. To compensate severe and life-threating blood loss, doctors transfuse blood products. Because of demographic changes, there are more and more patients who will need a blood transfusion. That’s why we have to ensure that blood products are used wisely only where they are really needed. Patient Blood Management (PBM) is a way of taking care of patients at risk for anemia that includes detecting and treating anemia before surgery. Other potential interventions to treat preoperative anemia are the use of Erythro-Stimulating Agents (ESAs) with or without iron supplementation. In order to know whether these interventions are safe, effective and cost-effective, the best available scientific evidence needs to be identified. Therefore, the general aim of this project is to evaluate and publish the current evidence regarding the safety, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of using ESA and/or iron supplementation in patients undergoing a planned major orthopedic or cardiac surgery. The evidence-based conclusions of this project will inform researchers, medical personnel and patients whether the use of ESAs and/or iron therapy is safe and (cost-)effective in a preoperative setting. The publications will also serve as a supportive evidence-based source to the recommendations that were formulated during the first International Consensus Conference on Patient Blood Management (ICC-PBM, 24-25 April 2018, Frankfurt, Germany).

2/Prediction and impact of personalised donation intervals

Turning away a person that wants to donate blood can make her or him feel bad and less likely to come back to try to donate blood. Also, it takes time and money for blood banks to evaluate if a person can donate blood. However, scientific research has shown that just based on information about previous blood donations and age and sex of the donor, it is possible to predict how likely a person is to be accepted as a donor when she or he arrives to donate the next time. New data about iron status and genes of blood donors as well as development of new computer algorithms will allow blood banks to take this research to a practical level and predict how blood donors tolerate donation. In practice, these predictions could be used to give some donor groups alternative donation interval recommendations. This could prevent adverse health effects of donation, reduce the amount of people that need to be turned away, making them more likely to return and ultimately save money.
In this project the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service in collaboration with the NHS Blood and Transplant (UK) will put to use previous research results about blood donation tolerance and latest available computer algorithms to develop computer programs that can propose alternative donation intervals for blood donors. Furthermore, the financial and blood supply effects of using such personalized donation intervals will analyzed.

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