The clinical demand and supply of blood in India: A National level estimation study
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Background: Estimating the clinical demand for blood and components arising in a health facility is crucial to ensure timely availability of blood. This study aims to estimate disease-specific clinical demand, supply and utilization of whole blood and components in India. Methods: We conducted a national level cross-sectional study in five randomly selected states from five regions of the country. We included 251 public and private facilities representing primary, secondary and tertiary care facilities. We collected annual disease-specific demand, supply and utilization of blood and components using a structured tool. We estimated the national demand by extrapolating the study data (demand and beds) to the total number of estimated beds in the country. Findings: According to the study, the total clinical demand of 251 health facilities with 51,562 beds was 474,627 whole blood units. Based on this, the clinical demand for India was estimated at 14.6 million whole blood units (95 CI: 14.59–14.62), an equivalent of 36.3 donations per 1,000 eligible populations, which will address whole blood and component requirement. The medicine specialty accounted for 6.0 million units (41.2%), followed by surgery 4.1 million (27.9%), obstetrics and gynecology 3.3 million (22.4%) and pediatrics 1.2 million (8.5%) units. The supply was 93% which is equivalent to 33.8 donations against the demand. Conclusion: The study indicated a demand and supply gap of 2.5 donations per 1,000 eligible persons which is around one million units. The gap emphasises the need for sustained and concerted efforts from all stakeholders and for increasing the awareness about repeat voluntary non-remunerated blood donation (VNRBD); optimizing the availability of blood components through efficient blood component separation units; promoting modern principles of patient blood management and strengthening capacities of human resources in the blood transfusion system in India.