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Blood Shortage Looms in U.S.

Published in: MedPage Today

According to one blood center that responded to the Premier survey, the "key to success over the next few months will be hospitals sharing plans for elective surgery increases. Hospitals in many instances altered transfusion guidelines during this emergency and as there are decisions to modify those to post-COVID-19 levels we need to be made aware."

Marlene Sautter, director of clinical product planning for Premier Inc., cautioned against hospitals ordering more blood than needed. One Florida center responding to the Premier survey noted that hospitals "typically want to carry more than a 3-day supply, which is unnecessary. The more they want on their shelves, the more another hospital gets shorted."

Long-term blood supply will depend heavily on schools returning to in-person education, Sautter said, because they typically generate 25% to 30% of national blood supply. It will also depend on post-pandemic surgery volume.

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