The need to produce more with less is an ongoing reality in many sectors, including health care. Like developing countries, there are many resource-constrained states in the US where this reality imposes a further burden on the health care system. A state's poverty level results in increased comorbidity rates in rural populations such as cardiovascular disease and obesity. Furthermore, rural residents face significant barriers to health care access, including transfusion medicine services. In addition, rural areas are not staffed with research capabilities or staff routinely engaged in clinical research, making products that require IND and/or IRB-supported processes unfamiliar and less accessible. We will review access challenges to providing transfusion medicine services and products in resource-poor states through this presentation. Using examples and data from the recent COVID-19 pandemic, how the challenges to access TM services and products were overcome will be demonstrated.
Division Director of Transfusion Medicine Services,
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences