Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Use of Blood Components - (red blood cells, platelets, fresh frozen plasma, cryoprecipitate)

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The NHMRC/Australasian Society of Blood Transfusion (ASBT) Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Use of Blood Components (2001) are currently under review.

The National Blood Authority (NBA) is undertaking this review and will replace the guideline with six modules as part of a comprehensive, evidence-based, Patient Blood Management Guideline.  The modules will cover Critical Bleeding/Massive Transfusion; Peri-operative; Medical and Intensive Care; and Obstetric and Paediatric / Neonates.

The first of the six modules was approved by NHMRC in November 2010 and is titled: Patient Blood Management Guidelines Module 1 – Critical Bleeding/Massive Transfusion.

Further information on the development of the Patient Blood Management Guidelines can be obtained from the NBA website.


The Clinical Practice Guidelines for the use of Blood Components aim to:

  • Improve the consistency and appropriateness of transfusion practice;
  • Promote the integration of quality management systems into transfusion practice;
  • Reduce the overall number of transfusion-related complications;
  • Increase consumer awareness of the benefits and risks of blood component therapy; and
  • Conserve a limited resource.

To assist clinicians to have readily available information the Working Party that developed the Guidelines, also developed a series of documents tailored to meet the needs of the clinicians. In addition, the Working Party recognised the importance of consumer issues and processes for informed consent. Two consumer documents are being prepared. One is a pamphlet addressing commonly asked questions and one is a consumer guide to assist consumers in making informed decisions about blood component therapy.