Current Research in Biostatistics

A Stochastic Approach to Blood Supply, Demand and Screening in Central Blood Banks - A Review

Shaul K. Bar-Lev

DOI : 10.3844/amjbsp.2017.19.29

Current Research in Biostatistics

Volume 7, Issue 1

Pages 19-29


One of the major issues in securing blood supply to patients worldwide is to provide blood of the best achievable quality, in the needed quantities. Central Blood Services (CBS’s) worldwide are daily faced with the problem how to satisfy demands for blood from various hospitals. These hospitals, in their turn, are faced with the problem how to satisfy demands for blood from their patients. To solve these problems in a cost-effective way is notoriously difficult, because (i) the amounts of available blood and of blood demand are random, (ii) blood can only be used during a limited amount of time, (iii) one must distinguish various blood components (red blood cells, plasma and platelets) with different associated costs and perishability and (iv) one must distinguish persons with different blood types (like AB+ and O) with different capabilities to act as donor or as recipient. In this review paper we provide the subject background, describing the blood characteristics and the operation of CBS and hospital blood banks. In particular we describe blood demand, blood components and blood types. We depict blood screening procedures and their processing times and provide with some real data. Particularly we describe a stochastic approach to blood screening and inventory. An emphasis will be given to inventory management and blood allocation, stochastic imput-output of the inventory system and some cost functions involved.


© 2017 Shaul K. Bar-Lev. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.