Blood banks and transfusion medicine

From next October 13 to 16, the 12th Colombian Congress of Blood Banks and Transfusion Medicine begins, which will be held this year in the city of Medellín in person after 4 years, so its motto is ¨Together again, innovation to strengthen capacity¨.

The event is organized by the Colombian Association of Blood Banks and Transfusion Medicine, Acobasmet, together with the Ibero-American Cooperative Group of Transfusion Medicine, GCIAMT, and seeks to open spaces for medical education for the development of transfusion medicine for the benefit of the health and well-being of the population . The Congress will also have the support of various organizations and institutions at the governmental and private level.


This version of the congress is held under the motto “Together Again, Innovation to Strengthen Capacity”. In this sense, Dr. Marcela García-Castro, president of the Congress, said: “this is a new event. For example, the topics of the congress were chosen from a survey we conducted between the two organizing institutions to understand what the sector wants to hear”.

“We also wanted to highlight and promote free research papers and give space within the academic program to the best work selected from among 82 proposals submitted to Congress.” The president pointed out.

The congress will host more than 40 professional blood experts at national and international level who will address various topics within 7 thematic axes that will be addressed: promotion, quality, apheresis, immunohematology, transfusion medicine, cell therapy, hematology and infectious diseases .

Here, Dr. Marcela García-Castro emphasizes: “We strive for the experts invited to the Congress to be recognized in their fields and we are fortunate to have people with extensive experience and young professionals who have managed to position themselves as the best in their areas. This will allow us to broaden our perspectives on the topic of blood, its uses and the new technologies that are being worked on globally.”

Another topic we want to highlight is the promotion of donation and specifically the lessons learned during the pandemic. “We are aware of the difficulties that some blood banks had in those moments of crisis and the successful strategies that others had, we must analyze both sides,” the expert pointed out.

On the other hand, coming to the event for the first time, the Global Blood Foundation has provided millions of dollars in grants, equipment, training and other forms of support to more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, and these , who will be in Congress, learn about and support the work of blood banks.

Finally, the Congress opens a virtual space for transfusion medicine services with a special program aimed at those responsible for patient management, where there will be a group of invited speakers who will talk about various innovative topics such as administrative issues such as the organization of blood banks, monitoring patients or applying molecular biology to blood transfusion.


Data from the Blood Network for 2021 show that at the end of 2021, a total of 83 blood banks were registered in Colombia, operating in 72.7% of the departments. The attention of 1,029,706 potential donors was reported (14.3% more compared to 2020 and -2.1% compared to 2019),

“We have a latent risk of insufficient blood supply and even more so now in this ‘new reality’ where in Colombia all economic activities and the provision of health services are beginning to normalize, unlike during the quarantine period, very massive blood collection activities were canceled in churches, loyal companies, universities, as well as in public spaces coordinated with local mayors that facilitate re-donation. says Garcia-Castro

In this sense, the figures from the INS report reflect that voluntary donors in 2021 are 67.7% (+4.8% compared to 2020), while regular donors are 25.6% (-8.9% compared to 2020 d.).


The 12th Colombian Congress on Blood Banks and Transfusion Medicine is organized by ACOBASMET and GCIAMT.

ACOBASMET, the Colombian Association of Blood Banks and Transfusion Medicine, is a scientific society that seeks to strengthen the work of academic professionals, research, in addition to promoting the participation and integration of blood banks and transfusion medicine.

GCIAMT brings together societies, associations, cooperative groups, institutions, blood banks, chemotherapy services, blood transfusion, community blood collection centers. Its job is to promote and facilitate the development of transfusion medicine for the benefit of the health and well-being of the population by connecting organizations with each other so that they are involved in the recruitment of blood donors or components, collection, processing, distribution and transfusion. , whether public or private.

The congress is the place for a new call from the blood professionals and health institutions of the country to the community at large about the importance of working together to continue blood donation and achieve 100% voluntary donation as envisaged by WHO/PAHO

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