QLS Seminar Series - Alton Russell

Tuesday, March 12, 2024 12:00to13:00

Informing policies to mitigate iron deficiency in blood donors through public health data science

Alton Russell, McGill University
Tuesday March 12, 12-1pm
Zoom Linkhttps://mcgill.zoom.us/j/86855481591
In Person: 550 Sherbrooke, Room 189

Abstract: Donating blood can cause or exacerbate iron deficiency. To mitigate this risk, blood collectors use policies on acceptable pre-donation fingerstick hemoglobin levels and minimum intervals between back-to-back donations. Unfortunately, these policies do not prevent all donors with low or absent iron stores from the loss of additional iron through blood donation. Around the world, blood collectors seek efficient and feasible solutions that can prevent donation-associated iron deficiency without threatening the life-saving supply of donated blood.

This talk will describe collaborative projects that use operational and biomarker data from blood collectors in North America, Europe, and Africa to understand variability in blood donors’ iron recovery and characterize how blood donors respond to donor management policies. Using methods from machine learning, epidemiology, and decision-analytic modeling, these analyses aim to enable more tailored blood donor management policies that can minimize harm to blood donors while maximizing blood collections.

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