How are blood products used in Western Australia?

T. J. Cobain*, A. J. Keller, R. A. Dunstan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is an increasing interest in data nationally and internationally relating to production and use of all blood products. Some of the factors responsible for this focus are the perceived risk of transfusion; increased costs of production; the increased difficulty in attracting altruistic donors; benchmarking between transfusion services producing the products and between hospitals using the products and recent emphasis on cost and efficiency of health care. To this end we have accumulated and analysed data relating to the use of donor blood. Losses during production, due to expiry and other unavoidable wastage as well as comparative use by Western Australian users of blood products have been analysed for a period of six years. The products considered in the analysis include red cells, plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitate. In addition to information relating to efficiency and appropriateness of blood product use, these analyses have provided information on trends in product usage over the six year period. The data has also been useful in future planning. By merging recipient information available on Blood Service and Health Department of Western Australia computers it has been possible to compare red cell, platelet, plasma and cryoprecipitate use among various hospitals in Western Australia for multiple medical and surgical procedures. To date, analysis has been performed for cardiac bypass surgery, total hip replacement, bone marrow transplant and leukaemia treatment. Significant differences among hospitals, both in the number of products used and the type of products used has been identified. It is argued that this unique method of evaluating blood product production and use, may well be a procedure which can be utilised to influence future transfusion practice and is a valuable resource for regular (annual) monitoring of trends in blood product use in Western Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132
Number of pages1
JournalAustralian Journal of Medical Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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