What are the perspectives for blood donations and blood component transfusion worldwide? A systematic review of time series studies

Elias Melo de Oliveira Ilka Afonso Reis About the authors

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND:

Analysis of the literature suggests that changes relating to blood donations and blood component transfusion are occurring due to the aging of the population.

OBJECTIVE:

To gain better understanding of the demand and supply of these inputs over time, and to identify the main associated demographic characteristics.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Systematic review conducted on time series relating to blood donations and blood component transfusions worldwide.

METHODS:

A systematic review of the literature was conducted based on articles that presented time series relating to blood donation or blood component transfusion.

RESULTS:

We found 1,814 articles. After the deletion process, only thirteen were read. Overall, these suggested that there is increasing demand for blood components and decreasing donation. The existence of seasonality regarding blood donation was pointed out. Men usually donated more blood and demanded more blood components than women. Approximately 50% of blood transfusions were performed in people aged ≥ 60 years.

CONCLUSIONS:

This analysis on articles that presented time series relating to blood donations and blood component transfusion showed that aging of the population was the main factor associated with the increasing demand for blood and the decreasing supply of blood.

KEY WORDS (MeSH terms):
Blood transfusion; Aging; Blood supply [subheading]

AUTHORS’ KEY WORDS:
Blood donation; Systematic review; Blood demand; Time series

INTRODUCTION

Because of the growing aging of the population, the demand for healthcare services, especially hospital services, is expected to increase.11. Reis CS, Noronha KVMS, Wajnman S, Ajnman S. Envelhecimento populacional e gastos com internação do SUS: uma análise realizada para o Brasil entre 2000 e 2010. Revista Brasileira de Estudos de População. 2016;33(3):591-612. doi: 10.20947/S0102-30982016c0007.
https://doi.org/10.20947/S0102-30982016c...
At the same time, growing demand for blood components will accompany this increase.22. Azevedo EMM, Shander A. Porque e como racionalizar o uso de sangue alogênico em cirurgia. Semina: Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde. 2002;23(1):87-92. doi: 10.5433/1679-0367.2002v23n1p87.
https://doi.org/10.5433/1679-0367.2002v2...
,33. Novaretti MCZ. Importância dos carregadores de oxigênio livre de células [Oxygen carriers free of cells in transfusion medicine]. Revista Brasileira de Hematologia e Hemoterapia. 2007;29(4):394-405. doi: 10.1590/S1516-84842007000400014.
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1516-8484200700...

In addition to the costs and risks associated with the use of blood components, there has been much discussion in the literature regarding changes to the demand and supply of blood components, consequent to the aging of the population.33. Novaretti MCZ. Importância dos carregadores de oxigênio livre de células [Oxygen carriers free of cells in transfusion medicine]. Revista Brasileira de Hematologia e Hemoterapia. 2007;29(4):394-405. doi: 10.1590/S1516-84842007000400014.
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1516-8484200700...
,44. Souza HJB, Moitinho RF. Estratégias para redução do uso de hemoderivados em cirurgia cardiovascular [Strategies to reduce the use of blood components in cardiovascular surgery]. Revista Brasileira de Cirurgia Cardiovascular. 2008;23(1):53-9. doi: 10.1590/S0102-76382008000100010.
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-7638200800...
,55. Brum DEL. Racionalizar a transfusão de hemocomponentes: benefícios a pacientes, instituições e operadoras de planos de saúde [Rationalization of blood transfusion benefits to patients, hospitals and health care providers]. Revista da AMRIGS.2011;55(1):76-82. Available from: Available from: https://docplayer.com.br/10110621-Racionalizar-a-transfusao-de-hemocomponentes-beneficios-a-pacientes-instituicoes-e-operadoras-de-planos-de-saude.html . Accessed in 2019 (Oct 1).
https://docplayer.com.br/10110621-Racion...

Faced with the new projected demographic context, there are two healthcare problems: reduced blood donations and increased use of blood components, because the elderly population is the one that proportionally uses more of this input.11. Reis CS, Noronha KVMS, Wajnman S, Ajnman S. Envelhecimento populacional e gastos com internação do SUS: uma análise realizada para o Brasil entre 2000 e 2010. Revista Brasileira de Estudos de População. 2016;33(3):591-612. doi: 10.20947/S0102-30982016c0007.
https://doi.org/10.20947/S0102-30982016c...
,22. Azevedo EMM, Shander A. Porque e como racionalizar o uso de sangue alogênico em cirurgia. Semina: Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde. 2002;23(1):87-92. doi: 10.5433/1679-0367.2002v23n1p87.
https://doi.org/10.5433/1679-0367.2002v2...
,33. Novaretti MCZ. Importância dos carregadores de oxigênio livre de células [Oxygen carriers free of cells in transfusion medicine]. Revista Brasileira de Hematologia e Hemoterapia. 2007;29(4):394-405. doi: 10.1590/S1516-84842007000400014.
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1516-8484200700...
,55. Brum DEL. Racionalizar a transfusão de hemocomponentes: benefícios a pacientes, instituições e operadoras de planos de saúde [Rationalization of blood transfusion benefits to patients, hospitals and health care providers]. Revista da AMRIGS.2011;55(1):76-82. Available from: Available from: https://docplayer.com.br/10110621-Racionalizar-a-transfusao-de-hemocomponentes-beneficios-a-pacientes-instituicoes-e-operadoras-de-planos-de-saude.html . Accessed in 2019 (Oct 1).
https://docplayer.com.br/10110621-Racion...
,66. Sweeney JD, Rizk Y. Manual Prático de Hemoterapia. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Revinter; 2005. p. 4-8. ISBN: 8573098376.,77. Santos AA, Silva JP, Silva LF, et al. Therapeutic options to minimize allogeneic blood transfusions and their adverse effects in cardiac surgery: A systematic review. Rev Bras Cir Cardiovasc. 2014;29(4):606-21. PMID: 25714216; doi: 10.5935/1678-9741.20140114.
https://doi.org/10.5935/1678-9741.201401...

Understanding the context and perspectives of blood supply and demand for blood components is essential, to make it possible to define strategies relating to these inputs.

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the literature, with a search for studies on time series relating to blood donation rates and blood component transfusions, along with the demographic characteristics of the blood donor and blood recipient populations.

METHODS

This was a systematic review study that was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items For Systematic Methodology in Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). The review protocol was previously registered with PROSPERO under the identification code: CRD42019118995.

To identify articles, a search on this topic was carried out in January 2019 in the national and international literature, for papers published between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2018. Articles were selected through a four-stage process.

In the first stage, three bibliographic searches were performed. The first consisted of a search using the descriptors “blood donation” and “time series” in the SciELO, PubMed and Medline databases. The second consisted of a search using the descriptors “blood transfusion” and “time series” in the SciELO, PubMed and Medline databases. The third consisted of a search in the gray literature on this subject based on the literature that is considered classic for the subject and its references.

The second stage of article selection involved exclusion of texts that were found in duplicate.

The third stage of article selection involved exclusion of studies that did not present the research topic, either in the title or in the abstract.

Lastly, the fourth stage of article selection involved assessment of the eligibility of the texts that met the objectives of this review, i.e. studies that presented a time series for blood donation or blood component transfusion.

Results presentation

The results were presented in table form. To extract the data from the articles, an instrument for summarizing the main characteristics of the selected articles was elaborated. The data extracted were the following: author and year of publication; place of publication; type of outcome analyzed (transfusion or donation); and number of study participants (donors and/or patients).

Next, the main findings of the articles that were selected to form part of the time series were highlighted. These were the following: the observed trends (decrease or increase) for blood supply and blood component demand; and the observed seasonality of blood supply and blood component demand.

The demographic characteristics (gender and age) of the blood donor and blood component recipient populations presented in the selected articles were then explored. In this regard, we sought to answer two questions relating to blood supply: Who donates more blood: men or women? Young or old? Two questions relating to blood component transfusions were also answered: Who receives more blood components: men or women? Young or old?

Lastly, for each study, the factors associated with the outcomes that were found were identified, especially demographic and epidemiological factors.

Analysis of results

The studies were analyzed separately by two researchers and any discrepancies found were addressed by a third researcher. Initially, the main characteristics of the articles were presented, such as the representativeness of the countries and the journals with the largest number of articles published.

Next, the main outcomes found in the articles regarding the time series were analyzed. These were the trends and seasonality of blood supply and use of blood components. Lastly, the main demographic and epidemiological findings that explained the behavior of the series presented in each study were also analyzed.

RESULTS

Selection of texts

We found 241 articles (197 in PubMed, one in SciELO and 43 Medline) in the first search; 1,559 articles (809 in PubMed, 22 in SciELO and 728 in Medline) in the second search; and fourteen articles in the third search, thus totaling 1,814 articles gathered in the first stage of article selection.

The second stage of article selection involved exclusion of duplicate articles. At this stage, 720 articles were excluded, which left 1,094 articles for assessment of eligibility.

The third stage of article selection involved exclusion of articles that did not present the research topic in the title or abstract. In this phase, 1,072 articles were excluded, thus leaving 22 articles for assessment of eligibility.

In the fourth stage of article selection, the articles that met the review objectives were selected, i.e. articles that presented a time series for blood donation or blood component transfusion. At this stage, thirteen articles were selected and nine articles were excluded. The articles thus selected and the justifications for excluding articles at this stage are shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1.
Flowchart for identifying and selecting articles for this systematic review.

Features of articles

Regarding the general characteristics of the articles, the oldest dated from 2004, and the most recent from 2018. The journal with the largest number of articles published was Transfusion (seven articles). Germany was the place from which the largest number of articles was selected. The number of subjects in the studies ranged from around 70,000 to around four million. The length of follow-up of the time series ranged from one to 61 years.

Eight articles presented results relating to donation and ten articles presented results relating to blood component transfusions. Eleven articles presented results relating to trend and two, seasonality of the time series.

In total, 16 countries were represented in the thirteen articles included in this review. The identification and main characteristics of the articles are shown in Table 1.88. Ali A, Auvinen MK, Rautonen J. The aging population poses a global challenge for blood services. Transfusion. 2010;50(3):584-8. PMID: 19912582; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009.02490.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009...
,2020. Volken T, Buser A, Castelli D, et al. Red blood cell use in Switzerland: trends and demographic challenges. Blood Transfus. 2018;16(1):73-82. PMID: 27723455; doi: 10.2450/2016.0079-16.
https://doi.org/10.2450/2016.0079-16...

Table 1.
Identification and characteristics of the articles

Outcomes

The most common temporal outcome regarding blood donations was reduced supply. With regard to seasonality, there were significant reductions in blood donation over holiday periods or holiday weeks. Regarding demographic variables, men generally donated more blood than women, in all the articles that presented such a comparison.99. Borkent-Raven BA, Janssen MP, van der Poel CL, et al. The PROTON study: profiles of blood product transfusion recipients in the Netherlands. Vox Sang. 2010;99(1):54-64. PMID: 20202179; doi: 10.1111/j.1423-0410.2010.01312.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1423-0410.2010...
,1111. Carneiro-Proietti AB, Sabino EC, Sampaio D, et al. Demographic profile of blood donors at three major Brazilian blood centers: results from the International REDS-II study, 2007 to 2008. Transfusion. 2010;50(4):918-25. PMID: 20003051; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009.02529.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009...
,1212. Crawford SO, Reich NG, An MW, et al. Regional and temporal variation in American Red Cross blood donations, 1995 to 2005. Transfusion. 2008;48(8):1576-83. PMID: 18503618; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2008.01755.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2008...
,1313. Currie CJ, Patel TC, McEwan P, Dixon S. Evaluation of the future supply and demand for blood products in the United Kingdom National Health Service. Transfus Med. 2004;14(1):19-24. PMID: 15043589; doi: 10.1111/j.0958-7578.2004.00475.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0958-7578.2004...
,1414. Drackley A, Newbold BK, Paez A, Heddle N. Forecasting Ontario’s blood supply and demand. Transfusion. 2012;52(2):366-74. PMID: 21810099; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2011.03280.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2011...
,1515. Greinacher A, Fendrich K, Alpen U, Hoffmann W. Impact of demographic changes on the blood supply: Mecklenburg-West Pomerania as a model region for Europe. Transfusion. 2007;47(3):395-401. PMID: 17319818; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2007.01129.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2007...
,1616. Greinacher A, Fendrich K, Hoffmann W. Demographic Changes: The Impact for Safe Blood Supply. Transfus Med Hemother. 2010;37(3):141-8. PMID: 20737017; doi: 10.1159/000313949.
https://doi.org/10.1159/000313949...
,1717. Greinacher A, Fendrich K, Brzenska R, Kiefel V, Hoffmann W. Implications of demographics on future blood supply: a population-based cross-sectional study. Transfusion. 2011;51(4):702-9. PMID: 20849411; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010.02882.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010...
,2020. Volken T, Buser A, Castelli D, et al. Red blood cell use in Switzerland: trends and demographic challenges. Blood Transfus. 2018;16(1):73-82. PMID: 27723455; doi: 10.2450/2016.0079-16.
https://doi.org/10.2450/2016.0079-16...
People aged between 17 and 35 years were the ones who donated the most blood.

Regarding blood component transfusions, the most common temporal outcome was an increasing frequency of transfusions performed with increasing age of the population.88. Ali A, Auvinen MK, Rautonen J. The aging population poses a global challenge for blood services. Transfusion. 2010;50(3):584-8. PMID: 19912582; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009.02490.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009...
,1010. Borkent-Raven BA, Janssen MP, Van Der Poel CL. Demographic changes and predicting blood supply and demand in the Netherlands. Transfusion. 2010;50(11):2455-60. PMID: 20529000; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010.02716.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010...
,1313. Currie CJ, Patel TC, McEwan P, Dixon S. Evaluation of the future supply and demand for blood products in the United Kingdom National Health Service. Transfus Med. 2004;14(1):19-24. PMID: 15043589; doi: 10.1111/j.0958-7578.2004.00475.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0958-7578.2004...
,1414. Drackley A, Newbold BK, Paez A, Heddle N. Forecasting Ontario’s blood supply and demand. Transfusion. 2012;52(2):366-74. PMID: 21810099; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2011.03280.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2011...
,1515. Greinacher A, Fendrich K, Alpen U, Hoffmann W. Impact of demographic changes on the blood supply: Mecklenburg-West Pomerania as a model region for Europe. Transfusion. 2007;47(3):395-401. PMID: 17319818; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2007.01129.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2007...
,1616. Greinacher A, Fendrich K, Hoffmann W. Demographic Changes: The Impact for Safe Blood Supply. Transfus Med Hemother. 2010;37(3):141-8. PMID: 20737017; doi: 10.1159/000313949.
https://doi.org/10.1159/000313949...
,1717. Greinacher A, Fendrich K, Brzenska R, Kiefel V, Hoffmann W. Implications of demographics on future blood supply: a population-based cross-sectional study. Transfusion. 2011;51(4):702-9. PMID: 20849411; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010.02882.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010...
,1919. Pfuntner A, Wier LM, Stocks C. Most Frequent Procedures Performed in US Hospitals, 2011: Statistical Brief #165. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Statistical Briefs [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2013. PMID: 24354027.,2020. Volken T, Buser A, Castelli D, et al. Red blood cell use in Switzerland: trends and demographic challenges. Blood Transfus. 2018;16(1):73-82. PMID: 27723455; doi: 10.2450/2016.0079-16.
https://doi.org/10.2450/2016.0079-16...
The series analyzed in this study did not show any seasonality component. In general, men received more blood components than women.99. Borkent-Raven BA, Janssen MP, van der Poel CL, et al. The PROTON study: profiles of blood product transfusion recipients in the Netherlands. Vox Sang. 2010;99(1):54-64. PMID: 20202179; doi: 10.1111/j.1423-0410.2010.01312.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1423-0410.2010...
,1111. Carneiro-Proietti AB, Sabino EC, Sampaio D, et al. Demographic profile of blood donors at three major Brazilian blood centers: results from the International REDS-II study, 2007 to 2008. Transfusion. 2010;50(4):918-25. PMID: 20003051; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009.02529.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009...
,1212. Crawford SO, Reich NG, An MW, et al. Regional and temporal variation in American Red Cross blood donations, 1995 to 2005. Transfusion. 2008;48(8):1576-83. PMID: 18503618; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2008.01755.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2008...
,1313. Currie CJ, Patel TC, McEwan P, Dixon S. Evaluation of the future supply and demand for blood products in the United Kingdom National Health Service. Transfus Med. 2004;14(1):19-24. PMID: 15043589; doi: 10.1111/j.0958-7578.2004.00475.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0958-7578.2004...
,1414. Drackley A, Newbold BK, Paez A, Heddle N. Forecasting Ontario’s blood supply and demand. Transfusion. 2012;52(2):366-74. PMID: 21810099; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2011.03280.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2011...
,1515. Greinacher A, Fendrich K, Alpen U, Hoffmann W. Impact of demographic changes on the blood supply: Mecklenburg-West Pomerania as a model region for Europe. Transfusion. 2007;47(3):395-401. PMID: 17319818; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2007.01129.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2007...
,1616. Greinacher A, Fendrich K, Hoffmann W. Demographic Changes: The Impact for Safe Blood Supply. Transfus Med Hemother. 2010;37(3):141-8. PMID: 20737017; doi: 10.1159/000313949.
https://doi.org/10.1159/000313949...
,1717. Greinacher A, Fendrich K, Brzenska R, Kiefel V, Hoffmann W. Implications of demographics on future blood supply: a population-based cross-sectional study. Transfusion. 2011;51(4):702-9. PMID: 20849411; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010.02882.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010...
,2020. Volken T, Buser A, Castelli D, et al. Red blood cell use in Switzerland: trends and demographic challenges. Blood Transfus. 2018;16(1):73-82. PMID: 27723455; doi: 10.2450/2016.0079-16.
https://doi.org/10.2450/2016.0079-16...
On the other hand, people aged 65 and over received the largest number of blood component transfusions.

The main outcomes relating to demographic characteristics and to blood donations and blood component transfusions are presented in Table 2.

Table 2.
Temporal components and demographic characteristics of blood donation and blood component transfusion series

Regarding the factors associated with the outcomes analyzed, ten articles presented possible epidemiological explanatory factors88. Ali A, Auvinen MK, Rautonen J. The aging population poses a global challenge for blood services. Transfusion. 2010;50(3):584-8. PMID: 19912582; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009.02490.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009...
,99. Borkent-Raven BA, Janssen MP, van der Poel CL, et al. The PROTON study: profiles of blood product transfusion recipients in the Netherlands. Vox Sang. 2010;99(1):54-64. PMID: 20202179; doi: 10.1111/j.1423-0410.2010.01312.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1423-0410.2010...
,1010. Borkent-Raven BA, Janssen MP, Van Der Poel CL. Demographic changes and predicting blood supply and demand in the Netherlands. Transfusion. 2010;50(11):2455-60. PMID: 20529000; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010.02716.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010...
,1212. Crawford SO, Reich NG, An MW, et al. Regional and temporal variation in American Red Cross blood donations, 1995 to 2005. Transfusion. 2008;48(8):1576-83. PMID: 18503618; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2008.01755.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2008...
,1313. Currie CJ, Patel TC, McEwan P, Dixon S. Evaluation of the future supply and demand for blood products in the United Kingdom National Health Service. Transfus Med. 2004;14(1):19-24. PMID: 15043589; doi: 10.1111/j.0958-7578.2004.00475.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0958-7578.2004...
,1414. Drackley A, Newbold BK, Paez A, Heddle N. Forecasting Ontario’s blood supply and demand. Transfusion. 2012;52(2):366-74. PMID: 21810099; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2011.03280.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2011...
,1616. Greinacher A, Fendrich K, Hoffmann W. Demographic Changes: The Impact for Safe Blood Supply. Transfus Med Hemother. 2010;37(3):141-8. PMID: 20737017; doi: 10.1159/000313949.
https://doi.org/10.1159/000313949...
,1717. Greinacher A, Fendrich K, Brzenska R, Kiefel V, Hoffmann W. Implications of demographics on future blood supply: a population-based cross-sectional study. Transfusion. 2011;51(4):702-9. PMID: 20849411; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010.02882.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010...
,1919. Pfuntner A, Wier LM, Stocks C. Most Frequent Procedures Performed in US Hospitals, 2011: Statistical Brief #165. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Statistical Briefs [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2013. PMID: 24354027.,2020. Volken T, Buser A, Castelli D, et al. Red blood cell use in Switzerland: trends and demographic challenges. Blood Transfus. 2018;16(1):73-82. PMID: 27723455; doi: 10.2450/2016.0079-16.
https://doi.org/10.2450/2016.0079-16...
and eleven presented possible demographic explanatory factors.88. Ali A, Auvinen MK, Rautonen J. The aging population poses a global challenge for blood services. Transfusion. 2010;50(3):584-8. PMID: 19912582; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009.02490.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009...
,99. Borkent-Raven BA, Janssen MP, van der Poel CL, et al. The PROTON study: profiles of blood product transfusion recipients in the Netherlands. Vox Sang. 2010;99(1):54-64. PMID: 20202179; doi: 10.1111/j.1423-0410.2010.01312.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1423-0410.2010...
,1010. Borkent-Raven BA, Janssen MP, Van Der Poel CL. Demographic changes and predicting blood supply and demand in the Netherlands. Transfusion. 2010;50(11):2455-60. PMID: 20529000; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010.02716.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010...
,1111. Carneiro-Proietti AB, Sabino EC, Sampaio D, et al. Demographic profile of blood donors at three major Brazilian blood centers: results from the International REDS-II study, 2007 to 2008. Transfusion. 2010;50(4):918-25. PMID: 20003051; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009.02529.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009...
,1212. Crawford SO, Reich NG, An MW, et al. Regional and temporal variation in American Red Cross blood donations, 1995 to 2005. Transfusion. 2008;48(8):1576-83. PMID: 18503618; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2008.01755.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2008...
,1313. Currie CJ, Patel TC, McEwan P, Dixon S. Evaluation of the future supply and demand for blood products in the United Kingdom National Health Service. Transfus Med. 2004;14(1):19-24. PMID: 15043589; doi: 10.1111/j.0958-7578.2004.00475.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0958-7578.2004...
,1414. Drackley A, Newbold BK, Paez A, Heddle N. Forecasting Ontario’s blood supply and demand. Transfusion. 2012;52(2):366-74. PMID: 21810099; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2011.03280.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2011...
,1515. Greinacher A, Fendrich K, Alpen U, Hoffmann W. Impact of demographic changes on the blood supply: Mecklenburg-West Pomerania as a model region for Europe. Transfusion. 2007;47(3):395-401. PMID: 17319818; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2007.01129.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2007...
,1616. Greinacher A, Fendrich K, Hoffmann W. Demographic Changes: The Impact for Safe Blood Supply. Transfus Med Hemother. 2010;37(3):141-8. PMID: 20737017; doi: 10.1159/000313949.
https://doi.org/10.1159/000313949...
,1717. Greinacher A, Fendrich K, Brzenska R, Kiefel V, Hoffmann W. Implications of demographics on future blood supply: a population-based cross-sectional study. Transfusion. 2011;51(4):702-9. PMID: 20849411; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010.02882.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010...
,2020. Volken T, Buser A, Castelli D, et al. Red blood cell use in Switzerland: trends and demographic challenges. Blood Transfus. 2018;16(1):73-82. PMID: 27723455; doi: 10.2450/2016.0079-16.
https://doi.org/10.2450/2016.0079-16...
Increasing numbers of surgical procedures, greater circulatory system care and larger numbers of neoplasms were the main explanatory reasons found among the articles.

Population aging and migration were the main demographic factors associated with the outcomes. The main factors associated with the outcomes presented in the articles assessed here are organized in Table 3.

Table 3.
Epidemiological and demographic factors associated with outcomes

Based on this review of the literature on time series relating to blood donations and blood component transfusions, it was possible to identify population aging as the main factor responsible for the context of the growing demand for blood component transfusions and the drop in blood donations.

DISCUSSION

The main finding of this study was that increased demand for blood component transfusions was occurring simultaneously with reductions in blood donation rates. This temporal perspective points towards future blood shortages, due to the increasing size of the elderly population and the reduction in size of the population that is able to donate.

The presence of chronic diseases such as those relating to the circulatory system and neoplasms is inherent in elderly populations. In addition, technological development allows for longer life, but at the cost of increased numbers of surgical procedures. Both of these epidemiological contexts are associated with higher demand for blood component transfusion, as addressed here.

On the other hand, the change in the age structure of the populations studied in the articles of this review, in which the growth of the elderly population and the consequent reduction of the young population were evident, will bring with it reductions of the donor population. First, because the population eligible for donation will decrease. Second, because within the donor population there will also be significant changes. Replacement donors are among the older members of this population and spontaneous donors among the younger.1414. Drackley A, Newbold BK, Paez A, Heddle N. Forecasting Ontario’s blood supply and demand. Transfusion. 2012;52(2):366-74. PMID: 21810099; doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2011.03280.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2011...

Soon, the group of replacement donors will no longer be able to donate. At the same time, due to the steadily declining birth rate, the young population will not be sufficient to meet the estimated high demand.

In view of this context, several studies in the literature have addressed the ways in which new blood donors are recruited, to identify improvements in the efficiency of techniques and strategies.2121. Rodrigues RSM, Reibnitz KS. Estratégias de captação de doadores de sangue: uma revisão integrativa da literatura [Strategies for attracting blood donors: an integrative literature review]. Texto & Contexto Enfermagem. 2011;20(2). doi: 10.1590/S0104-07072011000200022.
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0104-0707201100...
,2222. Pereira JR, Veloso e Sousa C, Matos EB, et al. Doar ou não doar, eis a questão: uma análise dos fatores críticos da doação de sangue [To donate or not donate, that is the question: an analysis of the critical factors of blood donation]. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva. 2016;21(8):2475-84. doi: 10.1590/1413-81232015218.24062015.
https://doi.org/10.1590/1413-81232015218...
Stimuli towards increasing the replacement donor group have also been addressed.2323. Carlesso L, Guimarães RFS, Silva SL, et al. Estratégias implementadas em hemocentros para aumento da doação de sangue [Strategies implemented in hemotherapy services to increase blood donation]. Revista Brasileira de Promoção da Saúde. 2017;30(2):213-20. doi: 10.5020/18061230.2017.p213.
https://doi.org/10.5020/18061230.2017.p2...

Before this, however, there is a need to focus on reducing the number of blood component transfusions. Alternative blood transfusion strategies that are safe, efficient and cost-effective have been considered in the literature. The use of these strategies is more frequent among organizations offering healthcare services. Bloodless medicine and surgery programs that seek to reduce blood use have significantly reduced the number of transfusions. These actions are implemented through protocol changes, incorporation of new technologies and more accurate control over blood component requests.33. Novaretti MCZ. Importância dos carregadores de oxigênio livre de células [Oxygen carriers free of cells in transfusion medicine]. Revista Brasileira de Hematologia e Hemoterapia. 2007;29(4):394-405. doi: 10.1590/S1516-84842007000400014.
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1516-8484200700...
,44. Souza HJB, Moitinho RF. Estratégias para redução do uso de hemoderivados em cirurgia cardiovascular [Strategies to reduce the use of blood components in cardiovascular surgery]. Revista Brasileira de Cirurgia Cardiovascular. 2008;23(1):53-9. doi: 10.1590/S0102-76382008000100010.
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-7638200800...
,55. Brum DEL. Racionalizar a transfusão de hemocomponentes: benefícios a pacientes, instituições e operadoras de planos de saúde [Rationalization of blood transfusion benefits to patients, hospitals and health care providers]. Revista da AMRIGS.2011;55(1):76-82. Available from: Available from: https://docplayer.com.br/10110621-Racionalizar-a-transfusao-de-hemocomponentes-beneficios-a-pacientes-instituicoes-e-operadoras-de-planos-de-saude.html . Accessed in 2019 (Oct 1).
https://docplayer.com.br/10110621-Racion...
,77. Santos AA, Silva JP, Silva LF, et al. Therapeutic options to minimize allogeneic blood transfusions and their adverse effects in cardiac surgery: A systematic review. Rev Bras Cir Cardiovasc. 2014;29(4):606-21. PMID: 25714216; doi: 10.5935/1678-9741.20140114.
https://doi.org/10.5935/1678-9741.201401...
,2424. Shander A. Optimizing transfusion in vascular surgery: is bloodless surgery an option? Vascular. 2008;16 Suppl 1:S37-47. PMID: 18544304.,2525. Kassakian SZ, Yackel TR, Deloughery T, Dorr DA. Clinical Decision Support Reduces Overuse of Red Blood Cell Transfusions: Interrupted Time Series Analysis. Am J Med. 2016; 129(6):636.e13-20. PMID: 26873112; doi: 10.1016/j.amjed.2016.01.024.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjed.2016.01....
,2626. Thomson A, Farmer S, Hofmann A, Isbister J, Shander A. Patient blood management - a new paradigm for transfusion medicine? International Society of Blood Transfusion. 2009;4(2):423-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-2824.2009.01251.x.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-2824.2009...

Despite the large number of articles published in the databases that were searched in this study, few studies have addressed blood donation and transfusion rates from the perspective of statistical time series analysis.

In addition, the authors of the various studies presented their results differently, which makes it difficult to analyze the studies in an integrated manner. With regard to demographic variables, for example, there is a distinction between the countries from which the data were extracted. In Brazil, elderly people are defined as those aged 60 years and over. On the other hand, in Europe, elderly people are generally considered to be those aged 65 and over.

CONCLUSION

Because of the estimated demographic context and the impossibility of changes to the age structure of populations, and because so few studies have evaluated time series relating to blood donations and blood component transfusions, further studies are essential. In particular, there is a need for studies addressing epidemiological, clinical and demographic characteristics. The present study makes a contribution towards more accurate perceptions of blood donations and blood component transfusions worldwide.

Acknowledgement:

Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG)

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  • 1
    SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: CRD42019118995.

  • 2
    Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte (MG), Brazil

  • Sources of funding: Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG), protocol number: 390-2018

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    22 Apr 2020
  • Date of issue
    Jan-Feb 2020

History

  • Reviewed
    23 Sept 2019
  • Received
    18 Oct 2019
  • Accepted
    08 Nov 2019
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