Clinical priorities and resources

Clinical priorities for blood management in NSW address issues to ensure safe evidence-based care, and strengthen blood stewardship measures to manage the Australian blood supply. Improvement initiatives for these clinical priorities will ensure NSW can continue to meet the needs and expectations of the community.

Patient Blood Management (PBM) describes medical and surgical strategies that aim to conserve and optimise the patient's own blood. PBM is evidence-based practice that aims to improve clinical outcomes by reducing unnecessary exposure to transfusion of blood components. PBM is underpinned by three pillars:

  • Optimising blood volume and red cell mass
  • Minimising blood loss
  • Optimising the patient’s tolerance of anaemia

The PBM guidelines are a suite of evidence-based modules for different patient populations. The National Safety and Quality Healthcare Service Blood Management standard outlines the actions related to the PBM guidelines to meet the standard. Visit the Quality Systems page for QARS PBM questionnaires.

What is Patient Blood Management?

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Clinical transfusion practice relates to all aspects of administration of blood and blood products. Health services are required to monitor clinical transfusion practice for current and emerging risks and identify opportunities for improvement. Clinical practice requirements are outlined in NSW Health Policy Blood Management Policy PD2018_042.

Further resources available to support safe effective and appropriate clinical practice include:

The demand for blood is influenced by many factors and can fluctuate significantly. Minimum levels must be maintained to ensure that blood is available when clinically required. This means that a level of discard of blood products is inevitable and appropriate. Avoidable wastage is a key priority for improvement, to ensure efficient use of resources.

National Blood Authority

The National Blood Management Improvement Strategy 2018-2022 has been developed by the National Blood Authority (NBA) to reduce the unnecessary wastage of blood and blood products.

Blood Watch is supporting the development of a NSW wastage action plan in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Health Officer, all public and private pathology providers in NSW and other key stakeholders, to understand and identify opportunities to reduce blood and blood product wastage in NSW.

The NBA provides extensive information, support and resources for services working to support a sustainable supply.