Improving blood transfusion systems using an evidence-based approach

By Chris Bird, MSc Health Policy student at Imperial College and Project Manager in the System Engagement Programme at NICE

Today mark’s World Blood Donor Day – an event to celebrate and thank volunteers the world over, who generously donate blood to support life-saving care and to raise awareness of the continued need for donations of blood and blood products to support high quality safe care for patients who need it most.

World Blood Donor Day: What can you do? Give blood, give now, give often

By Stella Nikolaou, Clinical Research Fellow, The Royal Marsden Hospital and Imperial College London and Shahnawaz Rasheed, Consultant Surgeon, The Royal Marsden Hospital and Senior Lecturer, Imperial College London.

Worldwide, there are more than 5 million people who die from violence and injury1. Uncontrolled bleeding causes more than 40% of trauma-related deaths1. More than 530 000 women die each year during pregnancy, childbirth or post partum and 99% of these women are in low and middle-income countries with severe bleeding being the commonest cause of death1. Safe and affordable surgery, therefore relies on access to a sufficient volume of blood which can be safely transfused2.

Giving blood in Africa to aid medical emergencies, natural disasters and accidents

By guest bloggers Sophie Uyoga and Charles Kamau, Research Scientists in Kilifi, Kenya

Most blood prescribed for transfusion in the developing world is mainly in emergency care. According to the WHO 2015 Report on Road Safety, the African Region has the highest risk of road traffic accident, one of the greatest contributors of emergencies needing blood transfusions. However, hospitals in this region are constantly facing blood stock outs, greatly contributes to the poor outcome all forms of medical emergencies as well as among admissions with severe anaemia. A clinical trial in East Africa by Kiguli et al., demonstrated how timely access reduces the risk of mortality among children with severe anaemia with a high proportion of those not transfused dying within 2.5 hours post admission.