National Blood and Blood Product Wastage Reduction Strategy 2013-17

Working smarter to minimise blood and blood product wastage

A certain level of discards of blood and blood products is both inevitable and appropriate to ensure that products are available where and when they are clinically necessary. However, there is a proportion of discards of blood and blood products that is neither inevitable nor appropriate which is defined as wastage.

The National Blood and Blood Product Wastage Reduction Strategy 2013-17 (the Strategy) has been developed by the National Blood Authority (NBA) to reduce the unnecessary wastage of blood and blood products.

Minimisation of the wastage of blood and blood products is a key requirement of the Statement of National Stewardship Expectations for the Supply of Blood and Blood Products, endorsed by Australian Health Ministers in November 2010, and National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standard (Standard 7, Blood and Blood Products).

The Strategy outlines the key activities that the NBA will undertake in collaboration with jurisdictions and health providers to reduce the unnecessary wastage of blood and blood products.  The key activities will be delivered in two streams:

  1. Supply chain efficiencies:
    • reduction of national red blood cell inventory levels
    • increase red blood cell yield.
  2. Improving health provider inventory management:
    • collection, analysis and distribution of data
    • establish targets for discard rates
    • better practice inventory management
    • education and training
    • enhanced awareness of unit prices
    • enhanced collaboration
    • addressing systemic issues
    • promotional campaigns.

The Strategy complements other work currently underway by Australian governments, the NBA and health providers in relation to improving the appropriate use of blood and blood products.

Manufacturing cost now on all blood component labels

As part of this Strategy from May 2013 all blood components supplied by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service included a cost indicator printed on the blood bag label. More information on this issue is here.

For more information

  • Email inventory [dot] management [at] blood [dot] gov [dot] au
  • Call 13 000 BLOOD (13 000 25663).