Forecasting Ontario's blood supply and demand
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BACKGROUND: Given an aging population that requires increased medical care, an increasing number of deferrals from the donor pool, and a growing immigrant population that typically has lower donation rates, the purpose of this article is to forecast Ontario's blood supply and demand. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We calculate age- and sex-specific donation and demand rates for blood supply based on 2008 data and project demand between 2008 and 2036 based on these rates and using population data from the Ontario Ministry of Finance. RESULTS: Results indicate that blood demand will outpace supply as early as 2012. For instance, while the total number of donations made by older cohorts is expected to increase in the coming years, the number of red blood cell (RBC) transfusions in the 70+ age group is forecasted grow from approximately 53% of all RBC transfusions in 2008 (209,515) in 2008 to 68% (546,996) by 2036. A series of alternate scenarios, including projections based on a 2% increase in supply per year and increased use of apheresis technology, delays supply shortfalls, but does not eliminate them without active management and/or multiple methods to increase supply and decrease demand. CONCLUSIONS: Predictions show that demand for blood products will outpace supply in the near future given current age- and sex-specific supply and demand rates. However, we note that the careful management of the blood supply by Canadian Blood Services, along with new medical techniques and the recruitment of new donors to the system, will remove future concerns.
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