AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks, but now just as AABB) is an international, not-for-profit association representing individuals and institutions involved in the field of cellular therapies and transfusion medicine. The association is committed to improving health by developing and delivering standards, accreditation and educational programs that focus on optimizing patient and donor care and safety. AABB has been setting standards for both public and family cord blood banking for over 20 years.
The list of AABB Accredited Cord Blood (CB) Facilities specifies those cord blood banks which have attained prestigious AABB accreditation. These facilities are responsible for procuring, processing and storing umbilical cord blood stem cells that can be used for transplantation. The website also lists frequently asked questions related to umbilical cord blood storage.
AABB's Global Accreditation Program strives to improve the quality and safety of collecting, processing, storing and distributing cellular and blood products, including cord blood. The Accreditation Program assesses the quality and operational systems in place within the facility. The basis for assessment includes compliance with US federal laws and regulations. AABB has been granted "deemed status" by Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) as an accrediting organization under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA). The AABB accreditation program itself is accredited by the International Society for Quality Healthcare, a prestigious international organization that accredits and oversees accrediting bodies.
Accreditation is based on compliance with the AABB Standards. The Standards are revised every two years by a committee composed of experts in the cord blood profession, an ethicist and stem cell transplant physicians. The Standards list requirements for all aspects of cord blood banking including maternal screening and testing, processing, storage, and patient outcomes. All aspects of the business operations are covered under the robust standards which require a complete quality system.
Accreditation may be granted for several activities including collection and processing as well as other services such as donor testing. Accreditation is granted for two years. Banks may then apply for reaccreditation to keep their accreditation status current.
AABB accreditation has been and is currently the standard most often used by family cord blood banks in the US and Canada.