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.
- Wastage Reduction Strategy 2013-17 (pdf) (357.03 KB)
- Wastage Reduction Strategy 2013-17 (doc) (338.02 KB)
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:
- Supply chain efficiencies:
- reduction of national red blood cell inventory levels
- increase red blood cell yield.
- 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 will include a cost indicator printed on the blood bag label.
The aim of this NBA initiative is to increase health provider awareness and appreciation of the costs associated with the provision of blood and blood products within Australia. It also supports awareness that blood is a precious resource given generously by donors. It should be used and managed with care.
Whilst blood donation is voluntary, the collection, processing, testing and distribution of blood and blood products incur significant costs. The cost that will be printed on each blood component label is indicative of the costs for that component type.
FIGURE: Example of a Red Cell Component Label with Cost Indicator.
It is important to note that patients will still not be charged for the blood that they receive, whether treated in the public or private sector.
If you have any queries regarding this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact the National Blood Authority at 13 000 BLOOD (13 000 25663).
For more information
- Email inventory [dot] management [at] blood [dot] gov [dot] au
- Call 13 000 BLOOD (13 000 25663).