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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 five key aspects of blood banking:

  • donating blood
  • protecting the blood supply
  • ensuring its proper use
  • identification
  • risks involved for donors as well as recipients

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is a branch of the Australian Red Cross 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.
Last Review Date: July 1, 2018