BACKGROUND: Blood component therapy is advantageous in terms of increasing the effective availability of blood units and reducing the transfusion-related risks. One unit of blood can be separated into components and made available to multiple patients by transfusing suitable components. It is often believed that most, if not all, of the blood should be fractionated. But the process of componentizing increases the availability of blood products at the expense of increased costs of holding, processing, and wastage at a blood bank. The objective of this study was to determine the optimum level of components to be produced at a blood bank given its objectives and context.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We developed a simulation-based model to determine the optimum amount of fresh blood to be fractionated at a blood bank operating in southern India was developed. The simulation model is a virtual representation of an actual blood bank, and it can help the administrator to test the effects of changing the level of components production on the overall blood bank performance.
RESULTS: The results from the model suggest that it may not be optimal for the chosen blood bank to componentize large amounts of fresh blood as it leads to high costs of operation and huge wastage in the system.
CONCLUSIONS: The same methodology can be applied to determine the optimum level of componentizing at other blood banks by providing appropriate inputs to the simulation model.