The American Association of Tissue Banks
The American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) is a scientific, not-for-profit, peer group organization founded in 1976 to facilitate the provision of transplantable cells and tissues of uniform high quality in quantities sufficient to meet national needs.
Society has long recognized the medical and humanitarian value of donating and transplanting organs and tissues. The universal significance of donation is apparent with the enactment of such legislation as the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act. The field of cell and tissue banking has maintained, and will continue to maintain, a safe and adequate supply of transplantable cells and tissue, keeping pace with rapid technological advancesThe Association publishes Standards to help ensure that the conduct of tissue banking meets acceptable norms of technical and ethical performance, and provides technical information that describes procedures to foster reasonable and responsible approaches to recovery, processing, preservation, and distribution of transplantable tissue. Specifics include: Screening for HIV and hepatitis, donor selection criteria, required testing, record-keeping, maintenance of asepsis, labeling, and storage. AATB also carries out programs of Inspection and Accreditation of tissue banking organizations and Certification of tissue bank personnel to ensure that tissue banking activities are being performed in a professional manner consistent with the Standards of the Association.In its efforts to help maintain tissue banking at the highest level of quality, AATB maintains close liaison with officials of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, engaging in an on-going program of information exchange. To this end, FDA has provided informal monitoring of various AATB programs.The Association provides important scientific fora for the exchange of information through sponsorship of meetings, seminars and workshops. This networking is invaluable to members of the Association who strive to provide leadership in the dynamic and growing field of transplantation. The Association publishes proceedings from these meetings, newsletters, and other educational material relevant to tissue banking.In addition, AATB supports promotional and educational programs for the purpose of stimulating tissue donation and encourages efficiency and professionalism of tissue banking worldwide. The Association maintains on-going cooperative programs with other professional organizations to keep its members abreast of the latest medical applications of preserved allografts and to assess clinical efficacy. AATB continually works to expand existing programs and to develop new programs in areas of future interest.
The Association is thus designed to serve as a source of information and advice to individuals and organizations wishing to establish or expand banking activities and to speak for the industry as a whole.
The most important mission of the Association is the establishment and promulgation of Standards to provide tissue banks with performance requirements intended to prevent disease transmission and help ensure optimum clinical performance of transplanted cells and tissues. Furthermore, AATB fosters education and research, and promotes quality and safety in cell and tissue banking and transplantation.
AATB offers a program of Certification of Tissue Bank Personnel. The Tissue Bank Specialist Examination tests candidates on their knowledge in all areas of tissue banking including Donor and Tissue Suitability Determination, Tissue Retrieval, Tissue Processing, Decontamination Techniques, Quality Control and Product Testing, Labeling, Record-Keeping, and Clinical Application of Allografts. The examination is based upon the Standards and technical procedures of the Association.
To help ensure that tissue banking activities are performed in a professional manner consistent with Standards, the Association initiated a program of Inspection and Accreditation of tissue banks in 1986. Based upon the Standards and procedures developed by the Association, tissue banks receive Accreditation for their operations including retrieval, processing, storage, and/or distribution of tissue.
Upon acceptance of application, banks undergo an on-site inspection of facilities and operations; banks are examined for compliance with all aspects of the Association's Standards and procedures such as record-keeping, quality control, quality assurance, donor and tissue suitability determination, and safety.
The Tissue Network makes an important contribution to the Association's ongoing program to promote the provision of transplantable tissues of uniform high quality in quantities sufficient to meet national needs with maximum economy.
This Tissue Network, initiated in 1988, composed of AATB-accredited facilities, has been designed to help ensure an adequate supply of tissue to requesting hospitals and surgeons. The AATB office near Washington, D.C. provides toll-free telephone coverage Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm (Eastern time). The Network office relays requests for tissue to the AATB-accredited facilities. Tissue Network: 1-800-635-AATB (2282)
Individual--Open to individuals who are involved or interested in banking of tissues, cells, or organs and who concur with and support the objectives, policies and ethical standards set forth by the Association. Individual members may attend AATB programs and purchase publications at reduced member rates. AATB Newsletter, Information Alert, Membership Directory and other publications are included in annual membership dues. Individual members have full voting privileges. The Association is structured by councils: Musculoskeletal, Reproductive, Skin, and Tissue Bank.
Institutional--Open to organizations qualifying as accredited tissue banking operations that participate in a tissue, cell or organ banking program, that includes retrieval, processing, storage and/or distribution in accordance with the objectives, policies and ethical standards of the Association. Institutional membership based on accreditation provides organizations the opportunity to measure their efforts against national recognized standards and procedures for tissue banking.
Institutional members receive reduced member rates for AATB meetings and publications. Subscriptions to AATB Newsletter, AATB Information Alert, and Tissue and Cell Report (the only technical/scientific journal published exclusively for tissue banking) are included, as are mailings directed to the special needs and interests of institutional members. The Association also provides oversight of the legislation that affects tissue banking and the regulatory programs of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies.
Information regarding membership and/or accreditation is available from the AATB Executive Office, 1320 Old Chain Bridge Rd., Suite 450, McLean, Virginia 22101.