Accreditation is granted to HÉMA-QUÉBEC by the American Association of Blood Banks

Saint-Laurent (Québec), April 12, 2001- Héma-Québec has been granted accreditation by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), according to Dr Francine Décary.

Accreditation follows an intensive on-site assessment by specially trained representatives of the Association and establishes that the level of medical, technical, and administrative performance within the facility meets or exceeds the standards set by the AABB. By successfully meeting those requirements, Héma-Québec joins more than 2,000 similar facilities across the United States and abroad that have earned AABB accreditation.

"The AABB's accreditation procedures are voluntary," Héma-Québec's Executive Director, Dr Francine Décary, explained. "Héma-Québec has sought AABB accreditation because this program assists facilities around the country in achieving excellence by promoting a level of professional and medical expertise that contributes to quality performance."

Since 1958, the AABB has been engaged in the accreditation of blood banks and transfusion services. The Accreditation Program assists blood banks and transfusion services in determining whether methods, procedures, personnel knowledge, equipment, and the physical plant meet established requirements. The minimum requirements for accreditation of blood banks and transfusion services are based primarily on the AABB's Standards for Blood Banks and Transfusion Services. These standards not only set the level of professional proficiency for blood banks and transfusion services in the United States, but also provide the basis of practice for similar facilities around the world.

Established in 1947, the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) is the professional society for approximately 2,200 community, regional, and Red Cross blood centers; hospital-bases blood banks and transfusion services; and over 8,800 individuals engaged in blood banking and transfusion medicine. Its member facilities are responsible for collecting virtually all of the nation's blood supply and for transfusing more than 80 percent of the blood used for patient care in the United States. The AABB sets standards, assesses and accredits blood collection and transfusion facilities, and provides continuing education and information.

Observations of the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and Héma-Québec's answers are available upon request or on the Web site.

- 30 -