A critical aspect of blood transfusion is the timely provision of high quality blood products. This task remains a significant challenge for many blood services and blood systems reflecting the difficulty of balancing the recruitment of sufficient donors, the optimal utilization of the donor's gift, the increasing safety related restrictions on blood donation, a growing menu of specialized blood products and an ever-growing imperative to increase the efficiency of blood product provision from a cost perspective. As our industry now faces questions about our standard practices including whether or not the age of blood has a negative impact on recipients, it is timely to take a look at our collective inventory management practices. This International Forum represents an effort to get a snap shot of inventory management practices around the world, and to understand the range of different products provided for patients. In addition to sharing current inventory management practices, this Forum is intended to foster an exchange of ideas around where we see our field moving with respect to various issues including specialty products, new technologies, and reducing recipient risk from blood transfusion products.
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