Storage, supply and demand of blood & other connected issues

Storage and shelf life of blood & its constituents

Storage, supply and demand

All the collected bloods are separately stored in a blood bank as individual components. All these components do not have long self-lives. The different self-lives of   different components are as below:-

· Self-life of platelets is very short. In every case a platelet is immediately transfused. The longest life of platelet has been found to be 7 days. Many institutional studies are on to find a solution.

· Self-life of Red blood cells id found to be between 35 and 42 days, provided it is stored in a quality refrigerated condition. By mixing with glycerol, the life of red blood cells can be extended under a quality refrigerated condition, provided the freezing system is extremely cold. This process is however very expensive.

· Self-life of plasma is maximum extended condition is one year, but the condition is it stored be frozen. In most of the cases, the plasma is given an expiry date. This eases the supply demand ratio in an advantageous position because of the self-life of plasma.

Demand for blood:-

The above information is a good indicator that blood cannot be stored or stockpiled for a longer period, especially for a disaster or war time. The practical problem came to the fore when USA had experienced “Nine Eleven” attack. The collection of blood during such situation was found to be impractical. The best solution, as was reached with consensus was maintaining supply of blood in an all time and constant way.

Role of World Health Organization (WHO) in the constant supply of blood

The world blood donation day falls on the 14th June of every year, as the commemoration of the birth day of Karl Landsteine, the founder of ABO blood group. The world blood donation day is recognized by the WHO for promoting donations of blood across the globe. Since the objectivity of WHO is very clear, people participate in a big way. In 2012, the theme of blood donation was coined as “Every Blood Donor is a Hero”. This means if you are donating blood like others, you are also becoming a hero like others.

According to the rough estimate of the WHO, more than 81 million units of blood are donated throughout the globe in a single year during the year 2008.

Levels of blood donations in the developed world:-

According to some study, a couple of years ago, USA has only 11 million eligible persons to donate blood. The count is only 37 per cent of the total population. But the irony is 10 per cent only donate. The ratio is further below when it is in the UK. According to NHS report of UK, only $ per cent of the people donate blood in that country. The rate further goes down when talk of Canada, it is only 3.5 per cent.

The level of blood donation in the developing countries:-


The topic is a discussable matter in a separate article. But in a precise way it can be said that cultural aspects and educational level are the vital factors in the blood donations and its influencing effects. Particularly, factors like power-distance are being noted to be the matter of challenges for the blood donation managers across the globe, because of cross-culture as well multi-culture blood donation management.

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