How hospitals can help ease blood shortages

To help ease chronic blood shortages in the U.S., hospitals should partner with blood centers to increase donations and work with centers to host blood drives, America's Blood Centers said in a March bulletin. 

Additionally, hospital transfusion service laboratories should have standard operating procedures to manage blood component shortages. 

The document outlines best practices to optimize blood bank inventory, such as transfusing only the minimum number of red blood cell units needed to relieve symptoms, and outlines suggestions for managing inventory during severe shortages. 

"Hospitals have a critical role in promoting evidence-based best transfusion practices and optimizing blood bank inventory," the update said. "The need to implement more restrictive transfusion practice during shortages should be supported and communicated from upper management to clinicians and hospital staff. With best practices in place for good stewardship and effective strategies to adjust transfusion practice and inventory management during shortages, hospitals ensure blood is available to support patients' transfusion needs."

To view the full document, click here

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