Findings From 2019 NBCUS Included in September Transfusion Supplement

August 20, 2021

A special supplement to the September issue of Transfusion includes findings from the 2019 National Blood Collection and Utilization Survey (NBCUS). These open-access reports include data on general facility information; blood collections, processing, and testing; blood and blood component transfusions; modification of components; and prices paid by hospitals for blood components in the United States. 

Between 2017-19, there was a 1.1% decrease in successful donations. Donations by persons aged 16–18 years decreased by 10.1%, while donations among donors aged 65 years and older increased by 10.5%. During the survey period, the median price paid for blood components by hospitals for leukoreduced red blood cell units, leukoreduced apheresis platelet units and for fresh frozen plasma units continued to decrease. Most whole blood/red blood cell units (97%) and platelet units (97%) were leukoreduced. Additionally, the rate of transfusion-related adverse reactions continued to decrease. 

The supplement also includes a report on the early impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on blood utilization in the U.S. The analysis demonstrated that red blood cell and platelet utilization declined following the March 2020 decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to delay nonessential medical procedures. At the same time, discards for RBCs and platelets increased, which the authors believe likely had adverse economic impact on blood collection organizations and transfusing hospitals. They concluded that the findings highlight the need for additional planning and preparedness measures to ensure a safe and adequate blood supply during pandemics such as COVID-19.