Supplemental Findings From 2021 NBCUS Published in Transfusion

September 20, 2023

Supplemental findings from the Department of Health and Human Services’ 2021 National Blood Collection and Utilization Survey (NBCUS) were published last week in the online edition of Transfusion.

The supplemental findings summarize data not published elsewhere. The report includes data on survey participation, donor characteristics, blood component cost, transfusion-associated adverse reactions and implementation of blood safety measures such as pathogen-reduction of platelets.

Notable data from the supplemental findings include the following:

  • The number of successful blood donations increased 4.8% between 2019 and 2021.
  • Middle-aged donors (aged 45–64) accounted for 42% of all successful blood donations.
  • The number of successful donations made by seniors (aged 65 and older) and donors aged 25-64 increased by 40.7% and 14.1%, respectively.
  • The number of minority and younger blood donors (aged 25 and younger) decreased.
  • The median price hospitals paid per unit of leukoreduced red blood cells, leukoreduced and pathogen-reduced apheresis platelets and fresh frozen plasma increased between 2019 and 2021.
  • The proportion of transfusing facilities reporting use of pathogen-reduced platelets increased from 13% to 60% between 2019 and 2021.
  • Overall transfusion-related adverse reactions declined slightly, but the rate of transfusion-transmitted bacterial infections remained unchanged.
  • The largest reported increase in reaction rates (per 100,000 components transfused) was for delayed serologic transfusion reactions.

The biennial NBCUS quantifies the collection, distribution and transfusion of blood and blood components on a national level to develop reliable estimates of demand, project future needs and inform policy decisions. All U.S. blood collection centers and acute care hospitals performing at least 100 inpatient surgical procedures per year are asked to participate.

HHS previously published collection and transfusion data from the 2021 NCBUS in Transfusion