Blood components

If you have a blood disorder, a component of your blood does not function as it should. Blood components may include:

  • red blood cells
  • white blood cells
  • platelets
  • plasma.

Under the National Blood Agreement, we ensure Australian Health Providers can supply blood and blood products to people who need them.

Our work helps Australians with a range of conditions, including blood disorders, to safely and securely access appropriate blood, blood products and blood-related services.

Common blood disorders

Many Australians are living with a blood disorder. Anaemia, bleeding disorders, blood clots and blood cancers are common blood disorders(Opens in a new tab/window).


Many Australians have iron deficiency (low blood iron levels). We need iron to make haemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs around the body.

Anaemia has many causes, including:

  • blood loss
  • chronic disease
  • dietary deficiency (iron, vitamin B12)
  • gastrointestinal problems.

Healthdirect explains different types of anaemia(Opens in a new tab/window).

Having low iron or anaemia before surgery puts you at high risk of needing a blood transfusion. Learn about Patient Blood Management Guidelines.

Bleeding disorders

Bleeding disorders happen when blood either clots too much or does not clot enough. The most common bleeding disorders in Australia are:

  • haemophilia A – low levels of coagulation factor VIII
  • haemophilia B – low levels of coagulation factor IX
  • von Willebrand disease – low levels of von Willebrand factor.

Learn more about bleeding disorders.

Blood cancers

The most common types of blood cancer in Australia are:

  • leukaemia – can form in the bone marrow
  • lymphoma – can form in the lymphatic system
  • myeloma – can form in plasma cells.

The Leukaemia Foundation explains different types of blood cancers(Opens in a new tab/window).

Further information

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood (Lifeblood) explains different types of transfusions(Opens in a new tab/window).

Other resources you can access to support you in living with a blood disorder include:

Get in touch

If you have any questions about our role in blood product supply in Australia, please contact us.

Last updated: 27 Mar 2024

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