Blood Transfusion - 1 2018 (January - February)
Red blood cell use in Switzerland: trends and demographic challenges
Authors:  Thomas Volken, Andreas Buser, Damiano Castelli, Stefano Fontana, Beat M. Frey, Ilka Rüsges-Wolter, Amira Sarraj, Jörg Sigle, Jutta Thierbach, Tina Weingand, Behrouz Mansouri Taleghani
Pages:  73-82
To cite this article:  Blood Transfus 2018; 16: 73-82
Doi:  10.2450/2016.0079-16
Published online:  30/09/2016

Several studies have raised concerns that future demand for blood products may not be met. The ageing of the general population and the fact that a large proportion of blood products is transfused to elderly patients has been identified as an important driver of blood shortages. The aim of this study was to collect, for the first time, nationally representative data regarding blood donors and transfusion recipients in order to predict the future evolution of blood donations and red blood cell (RBC) use in Switzerland between 2014 and 2035.
Materials and methods. Blood donor and transfusion recipient data, subdivided by the subjects' age and gender were obtained from Regional Blood Services and nine large, acute-care hospitals in various regions of Switzerland. Generalised additive regression models and time-series models with exponential smoothing were employed to estimate trends of whole blood donations and RBC transfusions.
Results. The trend models employed suggested that RBC demand could equal supply by 2018 and could eventually cause an increasing shortfall of up to 77,000 RBC units by 2035. 
Discussion. Our study highlights the need for continuous monitoring of trends of blood donations and blood transfusions in order to take proactive measures aimed at preventing blood shortages in Switzerland. Measures should be taken to improve donor retention in order to prevent a further erosion of the blood donor base. 

Keywords: blood donation, RBC use, demographics, Switzerland.
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