Where is the blood going? Understanding red blood cell utilization to inform policies

What is this research about?

Collected in November 2017

Maintaining a sufficient inventory of blood products for patients in need is of critical importance. The supply of Type O red blood cells is especially important because these “universal donor” products can be safely transfused to patients of any ABO blood type. This makes Type O red blood cells critical for emergency transfusions when the recipient’s blood type is unknown, or if there is an insufficient supply of ABO-matched blood products available for a patient in need.

In brief: While the overall red blood cell use is decreasing, the proportion of Type O products used is increasing, particularly for non-Type O recipients.

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