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Vol 15, No 3 (2022)
Research paper
Published online: 2022-10-27

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Retrospective analysis of selected aspects of public blood transfusion service activities as a starting point for assessment of the status of transfusion medicine in Poland. Part 3: Donations of blood and blood components in the period 1997–2017

Agata Mikołowska1, Jolanta Antoniewicz-Papis1
Journal of Transfusion Medicine 2022;15(3):225-242.


Background: Blood donation is primarily an activity of collecting blood from healthy people for the benefit of those who require transfusion (e.g. surgery, oncology and hematology patients or those who suffer massive blood loss) or for the purpose of manufacturing blood products. The overall availability of blood in a country is reflected by the whole blood donation rate (WB) per 1000 inhabitants. It is accepted that the minimum of 30 WB donations/1000 inhabitants provides sufficient protection for the healthcare system, whereas blood supply is considered insufficient when the number of donors drops below 10/1000 inhabitants. A European country is at the basic level of self-sufficiency in terms of blood supply if approximately 2.5% of its population donates blood regularly. Poland has been self-sufficient for many years now, but there is growing awareness that the self-sufficiency may be disturbed mainly because of ongoing demographic changes. One such change is the growing number of elderly people which means an increase in the overall percentage of the sick. In the recent years, Poland has reached a certain level of blood donations (about 1.2 mil per year) and it may be difficult to improve the result without altering the approach to donor recruitment. Material and methods: Material for analyses were the available annual reports from 21 Polish Regional Blood Transfusion Centers (RBTCs) forwarded to the Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion (IHTM). The following tools were used for statistical analysis of the available data: Microsoft Office: Access and Excel, Microsoft Power Business Intelligence (Power BI) software and STATISTICA version 13.3 software (TIBCO Software Inc.). Results: In the years 1997–2017, a total of over 20.5 mil WB units were collected (mainly from voluntary non-remunerated donors > 99.7%). The largest number of voluntary nonremunerated donations was collected in RBTC in Warsaw and RBTC in Katowice (2.05 and 2.02 mil respectively), while the lowest number in RBTC in Słupsk and RBTC in Radom (0.43 and 0.39 mil respectively). Blood components were also obtained from apheresis: platelet cell concentrate (Aph. PC) — a total of 522.4 thous donations, plasma from automated plasmapheresis — a total of > 1.9 mil donations, plasma from manual plasmapheresis — a total of > 55.4 thous donations, granulocyte concentrate — 1.5 thous donations and red blood cells from apheresis (Aph RBCs) > 2.2 thous donations (in 2005–2017). Throughout the analyzed period, the indicator of the number of donations per one donor was within the 1.69–2.08 range, while in the last 6 years — at the level of approximately 2. In individual RBTCs the total indicator for the period 1997–2017 was calculated at the level of 1.74–2.16. Conclusion: The study analysis of the number of donations collected throughout the 1997–2017 period, indicates that whole blood was the most often collected component in all RBTCs, while the least frequent one were RBCs from apheresis and granulocyte concentrate (GC). The number of WB donations in RBTCs varied — most donations were collected in RBTC in Warsaw and Katowice, while the least in Słupsk and Radom, which is most certainly related to the number of inhabitants/potential donors in the area of activity of these RBTCs.

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