The Heart of America Association of Blood Banks is a nonprofit, professional organization dedicated to improving Transfusion Medicine by fostering the exchange of information and bringing education opportunities to blood bank and transfusion medicine professionals.  The HAABB hosts two annual meetings for the Kansas City & St Louis areas. 








HAABB 48th Annual Spring 2015 Meeting REVIEW





Case Study - Suspected Hemolytic Transfusion Reaction with a Negative Antibody Screen

Christina Barron
Immunohematology Reference Laboratory Manager
American Red Cross, St. Louis, Missouri

This case study outlines the investigation of a suspected hemolytic transfusion reaction in the presence of a negative antibody screen.


Chris Barron is the Manager of the Immunohematology Reference Laboratory at the American Red Cross in St. Louis, Missouri.  Chris has been with the Missouri-Illinois region IRL for 26 years and also serves as an AABB IRL Assessor.




Research in Sickle Cell Treatment

Dr. Flavia Costa, IntelligeneDx and KUMC


Case Study - Mixed up in the Blood Bank

Julia Larson
University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City, Kansas

A case study involving the investigation of a possible mix type warm auto immune hemolytic anemia.


Julia graduated from the University of Missouri in 2010 with a Bachelor’s in Health Science in Clinical Laboratory Science. Since 2010, she has worked at the University of Kansas Hospital in the Transfusion Service.  


IRL and BBTS Assessments

Mary Kowalski
Community Blood Center, Kansas City, Missouri
Sharon Rice
Blood Bank Manager
Saint Luke's Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri

Discussion and case studies about common non-conformances found during regulatory assessments.

Following the presentation attendee will be able to state:
  • Where to locate information on questions that will be asked and documentation assessors will ask you to produce during an AABB assessment.
  • The most common nonconformances cited during AABB assessments.


Sharon received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Kansas State University, then graduated from Saint Luke’s Hospital Clinical Laboratory Science program in 1995. She worked as a generalist for several years before becoming the manager of Blood Bank and Transfusion Safety in 2012. Part of her responsibilities include being prepared, at all times, for assessments and assuring that the other 7 hospitals in the Saint Luke’s System are also ready for their Blood Bank assessments! She has severed as an AABB Assessor for 2 years.   Her hobbies include: scrapbooking, gardening, reading, and raising twin teenage boys!






Case Study  - Nightmare on Main Street

Shay Jones
Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri
  This case study will
  • Demonstrate the importance of phenotypes/genotypes in patients with warm autoantibodies
  • Understand the role of adsorptions in warm autoantibody  identification
  • Discuss transfusion options available for patients with warm autoantibodies


Shay Jones received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana and his Medical Technologist training from St. Francis Hospital in Beech Grove, Indiana. Upon completion of Medical Technology training, he was hired on as an Immunohematologist at Community Blood Center. Shay has been with CBC for 3 years.
TEG, Trauma and Blood Product Management
Dr. Jerod Grove
Chief Resident General Surgery

University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas 

  • Describe technical aspects of thromboelastogram
  • Describe the role of TEG/rTEG in Trauma
  • The use of TEG in blood management in the Surgical ICU


Dr. Grove attended Undergraduate at Wichita State University, Medical School at KUMC, and General Surgery Residency at KUMC. During undergrad he studied alteration in the coagulation cascade in respect to pharmaco-therapeutic intervention. He became interested in TEG, and has continued that interest at KUMC. He will be finishing residency in June and going into private practice General Surgery in Hays, KS.


Case Study - “Unusual Suspects”

Beth Jones
Saint Luke's Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri

Antibodies, like criminals, can sometimes be rather “unusual”!  Many times we suspect the husband, boyfriend, wife, etc, just like we suspect anti-E or anti-Kell to be the culprit. Venture into a case, where an antibody and its “accomplices” are an unusual combination, and how to “solve the crime”, aka, provide compatible blood. It is important to note that the “FBI” (Community Blood Center’s IRL department) was in on this one too, and the case has been cracked… for now!


Elizabeth, better known as Beth, graduated from SMSU (now known as MSU) in 1984 with a Bachelor’s of Science and Secondary Education in both Biology and Chemistry.  She moved on to Forth Worth, Texas, and graduated from Harris Hospital’s Medical Technology Program. After graduation, she gained experience working for the transfusion service at Harris Hospital and the consultation department of Carter Blood Center. In 1993, she and her husband relocated to Kansas City, and she started her Blood Banking career at Saint Luke’s. She has also worked in the laboratories of St. Joseph’s Health Center and Overland Park Regional Medical Center; places where she still has fond memories of, and stays in contact with many of her former co-workers.   In 1999, she accepted the position of Blood Bank Education Coordinator for the CLS program of Saint Luke’s Hospital.  Her biggest joys in life include her family, vacationing in Branson, Missouri, sampling chocolate, and educating others about the joys of Blood Banking!

Transfusion Medicine and Ebola Virus Disease
Dr. Scott Koepsell
Medical Director, Transfusion and Tissue Services
University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska.
Ebola virus disease (EVD) has been treated on American soil for the first time, which poses unique challenges to the healthcare workers taking care of the patient.
  1. Understand and incorporate the latest CDC guidelines into your laboratory for safe handling of specimens under investigation for EVD.
  2. Describe the role that transfusion medicine plays in the care of patients with EVD.
  3. Discuss the use of convalescent plasma from suvivors of EVD for the transfusion into patients with active EVD. 
Dr. Koepsell obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. in Microbiology followed by training in anatomic and clinical pathology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  He completed a fellowship in Transfusion Medicine and Blood Banking at the University of Minnesota and returned to Omaha to joing the faculty at the University of Nebraska.  Dr. Koepsell provided medical direction for Transfusion Services that took care of patients with Ebola, and was the first in the nation to obtain and provide convalescent plasma in the US for use as a treatment.





Stroke Measures: Diagnosis, Treatments, and Case Studies of Stroke Patients

Angela Hawkins

Saint Luke's Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Identify sequela of different stroke syndromes and time windows for stroke therapy.
  • Identify the benefit of rapid transport of stroke patients to an appropriate stroke center, including various indications for treatment of IV tPA, intra-arterial tPA, mechanical clot retrieval and procoagulant therapy.
  • Perform a basic and advanced neurologic exam and assign an NIH stroke scale score appropriately.
  • Review case studies and outcomes of different stroke syndromes related to treatment.


Angela is the System Stroke Program Manager of Saint Luke’s Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute & Saint Luke’s Health System.  Recently, she lead the team in obtaining Comprehensive Stroke Certification, making Saint Luke’s one of only 78 hospitals to obtain this designation.  This past fall, Angela also let the team to obtain its first ever Level 1 Time Critical Designation for Stroke.  Angela has over 15 years of Neuroscience, ICU, ER, IR and even cath lab experience and is currently in her doctorate to help promote advances in stroke and endovascular research.  Angela believes that Where you live, should not determine Whether you live and her life long passion is to decrease the disability caused by stroke. 



"O-ver There":  Blood Transfusion in World War I

Steven R. Pierce

Kansas City, Missouri

When World War I began in 1914, blood transfusions were not especially popular amongst European physicians.  The direct arm-to-arm procedures often used did not easily lend themselves to widespread military use.  British forces instead relied mainly on infusions of saline and colloid preparations.  By the time the U.S. entered the war in 1917, advances (made mostly in America) allowed indirect transfusion of stored, anti-coagulated blood.  This led to a much wider use of transfusion and introduced a generation of physicians to its benefits.

Steve Pierce worked in blood banking for over 30 years, most of that time as Supervisor of the Immunohematology Reference Lab at Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City. He is a Past-President and Emeritus Member of HAABB.  Since retiring from Community Blood Center he has spent most of his time delving into the history of transfusion and blood group serology, and he is back again to share some of his research.


Rapid Reversal of Warfarin Anticoagulation
Dr. Fred Plapp

Medical Director of Saint Luke’s Health System Laboratories

Saint Luke's Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri

Patients who are treated with warfarin and develop a life-threatening hemorrhage need rapid reversal of their anticoagulation. Traditionally, reversal has been achieved with vitamin K replacement and transfusion of plasma. More recently, a 4 factor prothrombin complex concentrate has been licensed by FDA for rapid reversal of warfarin anticoagulation. The advantages and disadvantages of these approaches will be discussed along with a comparison of patient outcomes.


Dr. Plapp has practiced transfusion medicine in a community blood center and a hospital transfusion service for a very long time!





Case Study - "U” Thought It Was Bad…

Gina Folk
Transfusion Safety Nurse Manager
Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri
This case stufy will 
  • Describe the steps in identifying antibodies to high incidence antigens.
  • Recognize complexities associated with the Rh system.
  • Explain transfusion options available in cases of rare antibodies.


Gina received her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Clinical Laboratory Science from Jamestown College in Jamestown, ND.  She previously worked as a Blood Bank Technologist at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver, CO, before being selected as a student for the Specialist in Blood Bank (SBB) program offered at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD.  After completing the program and working for an additional year in the Blood Bank at NIH, she felt it was time for another big move. She accepted her current position as an Immunohematology Reference Technologist at the Community Blood Center here in Kansas City, MO.


Pathogen Inactivation - Where are we now? 
Dr. Eric Senaldi
Medical Director
New York Blood Center, New York, NY
  • Overview of different processes for pathogen inactivation
  • European experience with pathogen inactivation
  • FDA licensed processes for pathogen inactivation
  • Benefits and potential downside effects of pathogen inactivation



Dr. Senaldi is board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology, and transfusion medicine.  He has twenty five years of experience in transfusion medicine as medical director for various blood centers in New York and New Jersey.  His passion is platelet apheresis. 


Case Study - HUS/TTP…SOS! (Complete plasma volume exchange treatment utilizing fresh frozen plasma.)
Megan Kindle
North Kansas City Hospital, North Kansas City, Missouri

Presentation of case of 46 year old female with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome/Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura following E.coli 0157:87 infection.



  1. Presentation of case.
  2. Describe etiology and pathology of disease(s).
  3. Explain treatment utilizing fresh frozen plasma in total volume plasma exchange.
  4. Describe additional and/or alternative treatments for patients who do not respond to plasma exchange or experience relapsed TTP.


Megan graduated from MIZZOU with a BS in Biology in 2008 and from North Kansas City Hospital’s CLS program in 2010.  She currently works full time in Transfusion Services at North Kansas City Hospital.  In her free time she enjoys volunteering at a local animal shelter, kickboxing, and scrapbooking.  She lives with her husband and their 3 boys (3 black cats).    

Who needs Rh negative blood and Rh immune globulin?
Connie Westhoff
Director of Immunohematology and Genomics
New York Blood Center/Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City, New York, NY
The session will review the challenges for RhD typing by serologic and molecular methods.   Recent recommendations of the Inter-organizational Work Group on RHD Genotyping for managing pregnant women and potential transfusion recipients with a serological weak D phenotype will be discussed, including the fiscal implications. 
  1. Understand the D antigen specificity and intended use of current commercial typing reagents. 
  2. Discuss the potential benefits and challenges of using a molecular-genetics approach. 
  3. Describe an approach for phasing in RHD genotyping for transfusion medicine practice.   

Dr. Connie M. Westhoff, SBB, PhD, is director of Immunohematology and Genomics at the New York Blood Center and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Division of Transfusion Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  She received her PhD in Molecular Genetics studying the evolution of the RH genes and did post-doctoral work in Immunology.  Seminal work included showing that the function of the Rh family of proteins, found in all organisms, is to transport ammonia.  As an expert in the Rh blood group system, her clinical focus is on improved matching of patients with blood donors for blood transfusion, especially for patients with sickle cell disease (SCD).  Dr. Westhoff has served on numerous AABB committees including the AABB board of directors and is associated editor of the Blood Group Genomics section of the journal Transfusion.  She is a National Blood Foundation scholar and recipient of the John Elliott Award from AABB, and leads the only AABB accredited molecular testing laboratory for blood groups, has lectured nationally and internationally, and has authored over 75 scientific articles and numerous book chapters.