Online publication date: April 2012
When the original version (dated 2009-09-28) of the National Plan for the Management of Shortages of Labile Blood Components was sent out for external consultation, it was criticized because it did not include a plan for patients requiring massive transfusion. Many examples cited were the lack of preparedness for Hurricane Katrina and although best intentions on behalf of the decision makers present, many inappropriate decisions were made. This document is the first attempt to address this deficiency in the National Blood Shortages Plan. This document was prepared by a multidisciplinary group with a broad range of expertise. This document was developed to guide healthcare professionals in triaging patients in need of massive transfusion during a red phase blood shortage, where demand for blood greatly exceeds supply, and where all other measures to increase the supply of blood have been exhausted.