Blood and blood product management
All Australian governments share responsibility for the funding, management, and arrangements for the supply of blood and blood products. Products are supplied free of charge to patients in both the public and private sectors.
These responsibilities are coordinated by the National Blood Authority, in line with the National Blood Authority Act 2003 and the National Blood Agreement, to which all states and territories are signatories.
Read more about the national governance arrangements.
The 2010 Australian Health Ministers' Conference (AHMC) Statement on National Stewardship Expectations for the Supply of Blood and Blood Products outlines the Department of Health’s expectations for effective blood and blood product management.
The statement defines stewardship and details a set of principles that address:
- appropriate use
- informed consent
- wastage minimisation
- transfusion related adverse event information management
- financial accountability
- inventory management practices.
Our Minister for Health expects hospitals, doctors, laboratories and other health providers to implement the stewardship statement.
This includes both Hospital and Health Services and licensed private health facilities that administer blood and blood products.
Patient blood management
The three pillars of blood management are:
- optimisation of blood volume and red cell mass prior to surgical or medical intervention
- minimisation of blood loss
- optimisation of patient's tolerance of anaemia.
Hospitals are required to implement Patient Blood Management approaches as a part of their accreditation, under the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards.
The National Blood Authority provides a range of patient blood management guidelines and resources for health professionals.
The department provides a consent form (PDF, 100KB) for patients undergoing blood transfusions, which explains the procedure, the associated risks and possible alternatives.
The National Blood Authority is responsible for ensuring that patients in Australia have an adequate, safe, secure and affordable blood supply. They developed the National Blood Supply Contingency Plan and coordinate its implementation.
The Queensland Blood Supply Emergency and Contingency Plan links to the National Plan. It details the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders at State level and identifies when local blood supply contingency plans need to be implemented.
For a copy of the plan, contact the Medicines Compliance and Human Tissue Unit via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medicines Compliance and Human Tissue Unit
Department of Health
Level 8, 33 Charlotte Street Brisbane Qld 4000
Telephone: 0457 642 749