The Blood Banking and Transfusion Medicine Fellowship is a one-year accredited program designed to develop, in-depth, the skills of a transfusion medicine specialist. The graduate will be qualified to act as medical director in any blood banking/transfusion medicine setting, from a large and diversified transfusion service in an academic medical center to a community blood bank. Program applicants must be board certified or eligible in clinical pathology, anatomic pathology/clinical pathology, hematology or another relevant specialty.
The Blood Banking and Transfusion Medicine Fellowship received initial accreditation by the American Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) on June 12, 1979. To date twenty fellows have graduated from the fellowship with one more graduating in June 2017.
Fellows receive training in all facets of modern blood banking, including therapeutic apheresis, peripheral blood stem cell collection and cryopreservation, blood collection, donor infectious disease testing, coagulation work-ups, HLA and serological evaluations. Direct clinical intervention in patient care is emphasized through daily transfusion medicine rounds. Fellows consult on difficult transfusion problems, investigate transfusion reactions and manage stem cell collections and therapeutic apheresis procedures.
Approximately 90,000 units of blood and components are transfused annually. The transfusion service collaborates closely in management of the transfusion support of patients within the solid organ and bone marrow/stem cell transplantation services. Experience in blood center operation comes from a visit to the regional blood center. Fellows become familiar with blood processing into individual components, as well as various aspects of blood preservation and long-term storage. They also develop skills in the administrative management of the blood bank, including dealing with personnel, developing standard operating procedures and quality control. Fellows participate actively in teaching activities at all levels including laboratory technicians, medical students and residents.
An important aspect of the clinical training program is supervised clinical or laboratory research. Fellows conduct a relevant literature review, prepare a research proposal and collect data – ultimately preparing a report for presentation and possible publication.
The blood bank of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, under the medical directorship of the Program Director, provides the basic setting for the educational training. There are five faculty members dedicated to training all aspects of transfusion medicine The overall transfusion medicine space includes areas devoted to compatibility testing, component processing, a reference lab, cryopreservation, and records/administration and library areas.
Another major unit for clinical experience and training is the combined blood donor pheresis unit located in the Center for Advanced medicine adjacent to the Barnes-Jewish Hospital. The unit has several pheresis machines, and collects peripheral blood stem cell (autologous and allogeneic), and performs therapeutic pheresis, including photopheresis on outpatients and inpatients. These procedures are under the medical supervision of fellows, two nurse practitioners and faculty.
Additional space and facilities come from the Division of Laboratory Medicine, which provides office space for the fellows, multiple teaching classrooms, audiovisual equipment for the classrooms and a specialized clinical pathology medical library in the fellows’ office area.
Fellowship Program Coordinator
Department of Pathology & Immunology
Washington University School of Medicine
660 S. Euclid Ave., Box 8118
St. Louis, MO 63110