Blood banking

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Introduction

Blood banking, the process of collecting, testing, processing, and storing blood for later use, is a cornerstone of emergency and surgical medicine and is dependent on the clinical laboratory for ensuring the safe use of blood and its components.

This article provides a glimpse into four key aspects of blood banking: donating blood, protecting the blood supply, ensuring its proper use and the risks involved for donors as well as recipients.

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is an operating division of the Australian Red Cross Society (ARCS) and the national organisation responsible for the provision of quality blood products, tissues and related services to the Australian community.

  • 27,000 donations are needed every week of the year to ensure that the Australian community has the blood and blood products it needs
  • Over half a million Australians donate blood, on average, around twice each year
  • 34% of donated blood helps patients with cancer and blood diseases, 19% other causes of anaemia, 18% surgical patients including open heart surgery and burns, 13% other medical problems including heart, stomach and kidney disease, 10% orthopaedic patients including fractures and joint replacements, 4% obstetrics including pregnant women, new mothers and young children and 2% to trauma including road accidents.

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