How many units of blood are collected each year?                            U.S. institutions collected more than 15 million units of whole blood and red cells in 2001, the most recent year for which data are available.  Blood centers collected 93% of the donated units, while hospitals collected 7%.

How much blood is transfused each year?
U.S. hospitals transfused nearly 14 million units of whole blood and red blood cells to 4.9 million patients in 2001.  The volume of blood transfused is increasing at the rate of 6% per year.

Can every unit of blood collected be used for transfusion?
No.  Approximately 4% of blood that is collected is autologous blood.  That means that
it is set aside for the donors use, should he/she need it.  In addition, nearly 2% of non-autologous (allogeneic) units are discarded based on the results of laboratory screening tests.

Are there other blood products, in addition to red blood cells, that are made from whole blood?
Yes.  Whole blood may be processed into red cells, platelets, plasma, and cryoprecipitate.  The total number of units of all of these components transfused in 2001 was 29 million.

Does the U.S. collect enough blood to meet its transfusion needs?
Although seasonal and regional shortages are not uncommon, an extended, nationwide shortage of blood has not been observed in recent history. However, a shortage of red blood cells may occur if transfusion demand continues to increase and collections cannot keep pace.

How can I obtain more information and statistics from the National Blood Data Resource Center?
You can become an NBDRC member and receive detailed reports.  Soon, NBDRC members will have access to the Members-Only section on this website (currently under construction). Click here for more information Membership

Please call 301-215-6506 for details on becoming a Basic or Charter Member,
or email us at [email protected]