Keeping enough blood and blood products on hand to meet patient needs makes a certain level of discards inevitable and appropriate. We define wastage as 'the proportion of discards that are neither inevitable nor appropriate'. This can be a result of holding too much inventory.

Together with good inventory management, reducing blood product wastage is a key component of blood product management.

Effectively managing blood and blood products is a responsibility for all Australian Health Providers (AHPs), as described in both the:

Reporting blood discard data

A range of reports are available for AHPs in BloodNet. These reports allow you to monitor your:

  • orders
  • issues and receipts
  • transfers
  • discards and wastage.

These reports include both:

  • fresh blood and blood products
  • commercial products issued by Australian Red Cross Lifeblood.

The BloodNet reports tell you your AHP's discards:

  • as a percentage of your issues (DAPI)
  • compared to similar sites in your state and nationally
  • compared to benchmark targets.

Blood product wastage benchmarks

BloodNet reports include the target rates we have established for:

  • red blood cells
  • platelets
  • clinical fresh frozen plasma
  • and cryoprecipitate.

We review discards for commercial blood products to determine whether benchmarks should be set.

You can use the targets from BloodNet reports as benchmarks for your blood wastage.

Promotional campaign

We have developed a targeted range of wastage-reduction promotional material for clinical staff, including:

  • laboratory staff
  • transfusion nurses
  • clinical champions.

We have designed these materials to move discussions of blood product management from laboratories to clinical areas, such as wards or operating theatres.

To order materials, email support@blood.gov.au

National discard data

The public release of high-level summary discard data increases transparency and accountability.

These graphs provide a snapshot of national red blood cells and platelets discards in Australia over time.

While hard work reduces the wastage rate, in the 2022–23 financial year, we recorded 7,920 red blood cell donations discarded, costing approximately $2.8 million.

The graphs show the rate of Discards as a Percentage of Issues (DAPI). Supplier faults are excluded unless otherwise stated.

Red blood cell donation discard rates

Red blood cell net units issued, discards and DAPI
Red blood cell net units issued, discards and DAPI
Red blood cell DAPI by public vs private
Red blood cell DAPI by public vs private
Percentage of red blood cell discards by reason
Percentage of red blood cell discards by reason

Table note: Discards include supplier faults. 

Red blood cell discards by blood group
Red blood cell discards by blood group

Table note: Discards include supplier faults.

Red blood cell DAPI by remoteness
Red blood cell DAPI by remoteness

Table note: Remoteness data is based on the ABS Australian Statistical Geography Standard remoteness area (ASGS-RA) classification.

Platelet donation discard rates

Platelet net units issued, discards and DAPI
Platelet net units issued, discards and DAPI
Platelet DAPI by state
Platelet DAPI by state

Table note: Platelet DAPI in the NT decreased from 68.6% to 37.2% during the reporting period. The numbers of issues and discards were low.

Platelet DAPI by public vs private
Platelet DAPI by public vs private
Percentage of platelet discards by reason
Percentage of platelet discards by reason

Table note: Data for platelets discarded due to 'Transport' and 'Damaged' appear combined on the chart due to the small percentages.

Platelet discards by blood group
Platelet discards by blood group

Table note: Data for AB+ and AB- do not appear on the graph due to small numbers.

Platelet DAPI by remoteness
Platelet DAPI by remoteness

Table note: Data from Very Remote Australia does not appear on the chart due to very low issues, transfers and discards. Remoteness data is based on the ABS Australian Statistical Geography Standard remoteness area (ASGS-RA) classification.

Get in touch

If you have a query about reducing blood product wastage, please contact us.

Last updated: 27 Mar 2024

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