Whole Blood and Red Cell Collections in September Exceeded the Monthly Average

Bethesda, MD - November 2, 2001 -- Whole blood and red cell collections in September exceeded the monthly average for this year by 38.4% according to the National Blood Data Resource Center (NBDRC).  Twenty-five blood centers providing monthly supply monitoring data to the Center collected a total of 473,200 units in September, in comparison with a monthly average of 341,800 units for the period January through August 2001.  In August 2001 collections totaled 355,999 units.  For comparison with last year, collections in September 2000 totaled 331,300.  

The blood center sample is statistically representative of all United States (U.S.) blood centers that collect more than 20,000 units annually and includes both American Red Cross and community blood centers from all geographical regions of the U.S.   Collectively, the blood center sample represents approximately one-third of U.S. blood center collections.  Among the individual centers, September collections ranged from a decrease of 18.5% to an increase of 69.0% of average monthly collections.  All but one of the blood centers, however, reported an increase in collections.

The centers also report inventory and distribution data to the NBDRC.  Whole blood and red cell inventory is reported twice monthly by the centers.  Total inventory increased from 29,813 to 84,298 between the first Wednesday measurement (September 5th) and the measurement on the third Wednesday (September 19th).  This increase in units of 182.8% was the largest inventory fluctuation observed for any two consecutive measurements during the 21 months of data collection.   

The number of units of whole blood and red cells released for distribution in September increased by 17.0% in comparison to the monthly average for 2001.  The total units distributed in September equaled 416,289.  The NBDRC announced in August that distribution increased 5.2% this summer in comparison with 2000, which is statistically significant.    

The NBDRC plans to compare the September measurements with data for October which the participating blood centers will submit electronically by mid-November. 

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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