ATMF hosts the 14th Arab Speaking Countries Transfusion Medicine Forum online 2022 December
The Arab Transfusion Medicine Forum (ATMF) is a professional, non-political and not for profit scientific forum that aims to promote for the highest ethical and professional standards in blood transfusion practices in order to sustain a safe, evidence based and cost effective blood transfusion practices in Arab countries. This December, ATMF hosted the 14th meeting for Arab Speaking Countries Transfusion Medicine Forum (ATMF14) online with guests and speakers from around the world.
Before this event, our last meeting was held in Tunisia in 2018, which is almost 3 years ago. We were excited that after the pandemic and other unforeseen eventualities, ATMF’s newly elected executive board was able to organize the 14th ATMF meeting virtually over 3 days from the 2nd to the 4th of December 2022. Hosting the theme of “Challenges and Opportunities in Blood Services in North Africa and Middle East Region”, the program was rich and intense with eminent speakers in the field of transfusion medicine from all over the world.
The meeting was conducted in collaboration with the Egyptian society of blood transfusion services under the hospice of Egyptian blood transfusion services and under the umbrella of the educational activities of the international society of blood transfusion academy. The topics discussed threw the spotlight on the availability, the safety and the wastage of blood and blood products in the region as well as the latest updates in Transfusion Medicine.
The WHO session weighed up many challenges that are in need to be more fully addressed by most countries in the region and highlighted some of the steps to move forward to overcome these challenges and improve blood systems. Accreditation and standardization of all activities in a blood bank was fully addressed in the session of Optimization of Blood Components Efficacy and Safety, along with the latest in stem cell and immune cell therapy and evidence based clinical use of some blood components.
Plasma Derived Medicinal Products session focused on the access of low middle income countries to such products and the affiliated efforts of several worldwide organizations to attain such goal.
This was further elaborated in the Assessing National Needs of Blood Products session where speakers highlighted the importance of patients registries to calculate the need of blood products generally and clotting factors in specific.
ISBT session offered functional information on the educational role of the ISBT academy sharing information about the webcast library of the ISBT website, the E-learning and certification approach, and the educational webinars conducted by ISBT. The session also elaborated on the ISBT activities in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
Finally, Clinical Transfusion session discussed the latest in management of massive bleeding, and strategies to maintain blood supply during emergencies and disasters. It also displayed the current evidence available on the use of COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma CCP in early and prehospital treatment of COVID-19 patients.
The meeting was honored to have attendees not only from the Arab countries, but from all over the globe such as Spain, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Argentine, Turkey, Netherlands, India, Indonesia, Peru, United States, Switzerland, Nigeria, Kosovo, Tanzania and among others.
Around 250 attendees over the 3 days sessions, live discussions were evident at the end of each session which allowed active and engaging knowledge sharing of experiences. This brought an enriched experience to the platform.