Recent Increase in Blood Distribution Measured by the National Blood Data Resource Center

Bethesda, MD - August 23, 2001 -- 
The number of whole blood and red blood cell units released for distribution to United States (US) hospitals for transfusion is significantly higher this summer in comparison to the same period in 2000. This information is the result of an analysis conducted by the National Blood Data Resource Center (NBDRC), which has been collecting monthly data from a sample of 26 regional blood centers since January 2000. The centers collectively released 1,092,144 units between May 1st and July 31st, a 5.2% increase in units distributed during the same period last year, 1,037,774 (p=0.001). By definition, these units successfully fulfilled all processing requirements and were released for distribution to hospitals and other customers.

The percentage change in individual blood center distribution volumes ranged from –2.7 to 27.8, with a median of 5.5. The centers included in the sample are statistically representative of all US blood centers that collect more than 25,000 units of blood annually, and are collectively responsible for nearly one-third of US whole blood collections. The NBDRC collects data to monitor the blood supply under contract to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Nationwide Blood Collection and Utilization Survey conducted by the NBDRC last year indicated that a total of 13,158,000 units were released nationally in 1999. Of these, 12,389,000 were ultimately transfused, an increase in transfused units of 7.6% in comparison with 1997. The recent increase in distribution supports the expectation that the country’s demand for blood is continuing to increase.

To view a graph of recent distribution trends, visit the NBDRC website at and click on RESEARCH. For additional information please contact the National Blood Data Resource Center at 301-215-6506.


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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