Whole Blood and Red Cell Collections in October Following September Donation Surge

Bethesda, MD - December 13, 2001 --  Whole blood and red blood cell collections declined 14.2% in October in comparison with the unusually high volume measured in September, according to the National Blood Data Resource Center (NBDRC).  A sample of 25 blood centers which is statistically representative of all collection centers in the United States with an annual volume of at least 20,000 units reported a total of 406,013 units collected in October versus 473,200 in September.  Individually, the centers experienced collection losses ranging from 1.0 to 36.4 percent.

Inventory levels remained elevated, however, due to the cumulative effect of the collections increase and the lag-time to outdating of unused units.  In the first week of October, participating centers reported a total of 109,378 units in inventory, a 29.8% increase over the final September measurement.  By November 7th, however, inventories had stabilized as some units collected in September reached their expiration date and were discarded.  At this point, the 111,488 units in inventory did not differ significantly from measurements made either two or four weeks previously.

The number of units released for distribution in October was 396,024, not significantly different from the 416,289 total units distributed in September, and consistent with the slowing down of donations and stabilizing inventory levels.  September distribution was up by 17.0% over the monthly average for the year, significantly exceeding the already increased distribution reported by the NBDRC during the summer of 2001.

The collection of monthly supply data is funded by the U.S. Public Health Service, Office of Public Health and Science, through December 2001.


The National Blood Data Resource Center (NBDRC) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation, founded by the American Association of Blood Banks.  The NBDRC collects, analyzes and distributes data on all aspects of blood banking; transfusion medicine; hematopoietic, cellular and gene therapies; tissue transplantation and related procedures.

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