The objectives of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study-III (REDS-III) program are to ensure safe and effective blood banking and transfusion medicine practices through a comprehensive, multifaceted strategy involving basic, translational, and clinical research to improve the benefits of transfusion while reducing its risks. REDS-III is the successor to the REDS and REDS-II programs which, over the past 20 years, have proven to be the premier research programs in blood collection and transfusion safety in the United States. REDS-II expanded the program’s focus to include countries seriously affected by the AIDS epidemic, many of which face critical blood safety and supply challenges. Underscoring the importance of global blood safety, the number of international countries/regions in REDS-III has now expanded to include new sites in Brazil, China and South Africa.
The domestic component of REDS has undergone a major shift in emphasis as compared to the REDS and REDS-II programs in order to integrate adult transfusion recipient epidemiology and laboratory studies, while continuing to address donor/donation safety and availability issues. In addition, NHLBI has committed to the development of comprehensive databases which will link information on donor/donation/components to that of transfused recipients at all REDS-III participating hospitals. These cumulative databases and the long awaited ability to link donor and recipient data will enable investigators to rapidly address key research questions in blood banking and transfusion medicine and inform blood policy decisions. The inclusion of untransfused controls in the adult patient outcomes database will support comparative effectiveness studies designed to improve transfusion practices.
Simone Glynn MD, MSc, MPH
Contracting Officer’s Representative, NHLBI
Contract Officer, NHLBI