Blood and blood products are valuable resources. The intention behind blood product management is to ensure blood and blood products are available where they are clinically needed.

This is managed in many ways, including:

  • practising good inventory management
  • reducing unnecessary discards (wastage)
  • ensuring appropriate use.

You may have blood product management responsibilities if you work for an Australian Health Provider (AHP) that handles blood and blood products.

Responsibilities for blood product management

Responsibilities for effective blood product management are guided by 3 key sources:

AHPs need to manage blood and blood products effectively.

Not holding enough product can potentially:

  • put patients at risk
  • disrupt routine services.

Having too much inventory can:

  • deplete products held by the supplier to insufficient levels
  • increase the age of blood at transfusion
  • increase wastage.

Managing inventory for blood and blood products covers:

  • ordering products
  • storing products
  • handling products
  • issuing and using products.

Good inventory management ensures there are enough products to meet patient needs, while reducing wastage.

We provide benchmarks for blood product wastage. You can use these to measure your performance.

We also monitor wastage across Australia to help identify areas for improvement.

National blood and blood product inventory

AHPs, the NBA and manufacturers in the blood supply chain play a key role in understanding where blood and blood products are being held.

This total picture of national blood and blood product inventory is important to ensure that:

  • products are held in the most appropriate place
  • they can be provided to health services to meet clinical needs.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood (Lifeblood) produces a National Inventory Template(Opens in a new tab/window) that reports the levels of fresh blood products held at Lifeblood and health service organisations.

This is distributed to AHPs who receive blood and blood products.

Get in touch

If you have a query about managing your blood product inventory or reducing wastage, please contact us.

Last updated: 27 Mar 2024

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