Department of Health

The National Blood Authority wastage reduction strategy, the Australian Health Ministers Conference (2010) National Stewardship statement and the Australian Commission of Safety and Quality in Healthcare National Standards (Blood Management Standard) underpin the necessary focus on blood component wastage.

Victorian red cell waste has reduced significantly since 2014 and has been consistently lower than national wastage rates. This success is an outcome of collaboration between, engagement and support of Victorian health and pathology services. 

Blood Matters is expanding on the successes of the red blood cell wastage project. We have increased our waste reduction effort to include all fresh blood components.

Constant vigilance is required to ensure that our donor's precious gift is not wasted.

Current national and state blood component wastage

If you are unable to view the below charts, this data is also available in a tabular format.

Red blood cell (RBC) wastage

The current national wastage target for red blood cells is: < 2.0-3.0% (annual use dependent)

Platelet wastage

The current national wastage target for platelets is: <12.0-18.0% (annual use dependent).

(Chart: Platelet wastage: Victorian and National data financial year to date)


Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP) wastage

The current national wastage target for FFP is: <10.0% .

(Chart: FFP wastage: Victorian and National data financial year to date)

Cryoprecipitate (cryo) wastage

There is currently no national wastage target for cryoprecipitate 

(Chart: cryo wastage: Victorian and National data financial year to date)

Waste reduction strategies

The following principles and approaches have been identified as crucial to the continued reduction of blood and blood product waste in Victoria:

  • Effective inventory management is paramount to reduce expiry-related waste
  • Sharing blood fridge compliance data between health services and pathology providers is essential.
  • Compliance with the BloodNet fridge module for blood fridge data recording
  • Timely movement of blood products between health services to ensure units can be transfused before expiry
  • Reducing the period of time blood may be kept following a crossmatch
  • Compliance with correct transportation methods for blood components
  • Increasing the use of visual prompts in blood fridges, freezers and platelet incubators. For example regarding short expiry dates
  • State wide implementation of electronic crossmatching methods
  • Simplifying procedures, production of and compliance with a maximum blood ordering schedule (MBOS)
  • Regular review of stock inventory levels
  • Ongoing collaboration between health and pathology services.

STOP the waste festive campaign 2022-23

The festive season is fast approaching, and once again it is time for us to consider how we can keep blood wastage to a minimum over this period. 
Donated blood is a precious gift, and we all need to do our part to protect and manage this valuable resource.

Let’s celebrate the donor’s precious gift this festive season.

Available for download are two checklists to prompt transfusion laboratories and health services to look at how their blood use may be impacted over this period.

  • one for metropolitan/larger health services
  • another for smaller/rural health services.

There is also a festive campaign infographic to be displayed in clinical areas and the transfusion laboratory to remind staff to be vigilant in reducing waste over this period.

These tools may be able to assist in determining if anticipated changes to activity over the festive season will impact blood use at your health service.

Liaise with your transfusion laboratory regarding any anticipated changes to activity to adjust inventory accordingly. 

Please take the time to inform Lifeblood of any anticipated changes to your blood inventory and usage, to assist them to adjust donor collections as required. This will help to ensure sufficiency of the blood supply over the festive season.

Your continued support of the ‘STOP the waste’ campaign is appreciated. 

Previous festive campaign results

Festive period Red Blood Cell (RBC) wastage 2014-15 to 2021-22

Graph illustrating wastage of red blood cells over the festive period from 2014-15 and 2021-22 period

Victorian festive season Red Blood Cells (RBC) discards 2014-15 to 2021-22

Graph illustrating Victorian festive season red blood cells discards from 2014-15 to 2021-22
See Downloads section below for the:
  • Festive season planning checklists
  • Festive campaign infographic.


National Blood Authority (2013) Wastage reduction strategy 2013-17.

Australian Health Ministers’ Conference (2010) Statement on National Stewardship Expectations for the Supply of Blood and Blood Products.

Australian Commission of Safety and Quality in Healthcare (2017) Standard 7: Blood Management.

Australian Commission of Safety and Quality in Healthcare National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (second edition).

National Blood Authority (2014) Managing Blood and Blood Inventory.

Reviewed 23 January 2023


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