Epidemiology of blood transfusion

Transfusion. 1994 Jun;34(6):464-70. doi: 10.1046/j.1537-2995.1994.34694295059.x.


Background: Earlier investigations of the epidemiologic attributes of blood transfusion were not based on total community populations. To calculate incidence rates of the transfusion of blood and blood components in the general population and in age- and gender-specific groups, all residents of a United States county who received transfusion(s) from 1989 through 1992 were studied.

Study design and methods: The study was a prevalence survey (cross-sectional study) of a well-defined population at a specified time.

Results: There was no significant change in blood and blood component utilization from the beginning of 1989 through 1992. The incidence of red cell transfusion was 42.88 units per 1000 population per year in both men and women and varied from 12.08 units per 1000 population per year in those less than 41 years old to 245.24 units per 1000 population per year in the group aged more than 65. A random resident's probability of receiving transfusion(s) in any year was 0.89 percent (0.83% for men and 0.94% for women) and varied from 0.26 to 5.17 percent among the three age groups. The incidence of platelet and fresh-frozen plasma transfusion was 21.24 units per 1000 population per year and 8.64 units per 1000 population per year, respectively.

Conclusion: Incidence rates of blood transfusion for "causal" planning of blood collections are presented here for the first time. The probability of receiving a transfusion of RBCs in any year rises by 20-fold from the rate in those less than 40 years old to that in those more than 65 years old, who receive 53.3 percent of the red cell units transfused.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Transfusion / statistics & numerical data*
  • Erythrocyte Transfusion / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota
  • Plasma
  • Platelet Transfusion / statistics & numerical data
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative