Blood stocks

Blood stock status

Pre-Amber: O positive and negative, B negative, AB negative, A positive red cells;  A negative platelets

Stock status explained

The National Blood Transfusion Committee's (NBTC) shortage plans for red cells, and platelets outline four phases for the supply of blood to hospitals, supported by a framework of actions for NHSBT and hospitals at each phase. The phases are:

  • Green when circumstances are normal and where supply meets demand
  • Pre-Amber when there is reduced availability of blood for a short or a prolonged period
  • Amber when there is reduced availability of blood for a short or a prolonged period which impacts on clinical activity
  • Red when there are severe, prolonged shortages which impact on clinical activity

Our blood stock levels are updated on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week

The stock we have available to issue is:

Red blood cell stock levels - text version

O- 3.1 days, A- 10.6 days, B- 2.6 days, AB- 4.9 days, O+ 4.3 days, A+ 4.3 days, B+ 6.1 days, AB+ 10.5 days

We aim to maintain 6 days of stock for red blood cells.

Platelet stock levels - text version

O- 1.5 days, A- 1.4 days, B- 1.7 days, AB- 2.3 days, O+ 1.8 days, A+ 1.9 days, B+ 1.9 days, AB+ 2.7 days 

We aim to maintain a minimum of 1 days' stock for platelets (except AB-).

When stocks are low we may need to offer substitutions (PDF 141KB) based on best transfusion practice.

Contingency reduced-dose apheresis platelets in the event of a severe shortage 

Preparation for a severe shortage

We developed these platelets as a temporary measure to prevent hospitals having to prepare for a severe shortage, and to reduce the length of time of a shortage, if there is one.

Find out more by watching a webinar we hosted to give our colleagues in hospitals the opportunity to put their questions about reduced-dose apheresis platelets to a panel from NHSBT.

Find out why we introduced these components including barcodes for hospitals to use to update their LIMs.