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
Red blood cell (RBC) wastage
The current national wastage target for red blood cells is: < 2.0-3.0% (annual use dependent)
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
‘STOP the waste’ festive campaign began in 2015-16 to raise awareness around reduction of RBC wastage over the festive period (November-February) when there had traditionally been a decrease in services across health organisations (prior to the COVID-19 pandemic).
The 2022-23 ‘STOP the waste’ festive campaign has once again been extremely successful. Thanks to laboratory and health services diligence and dedication in celebrating the donor’s gift.
The average Victorian red cell wastage rate over this festive season was 1.4%.
As we continue into 2023, please remember to monitor changes to activity within your organisation which may impact on blood use and adjust the inventory accordingly.
This is of particular importance as O RhD negative RBC use decreases when emergency use group O red blood cell recommendations to include O RhD positive RBC are implemented across health services. More information is available on the webpage.
Previous festive campaign results
Festive period Red Blood Cell (RBC) wastage 2014-2015 to 2022-2023
Victorian festive season Red Blood Cells (RBC) discards 2014-15 to 2022-23
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 07 August 2023