Development of permanent national register of blood component use utilizing electronic hospital information systems

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Background and Objectives

We wanted to establish a permanent national database system, which can be utilized to study transfusion recipients and blood use in Finland.

Materials and Methods

A regularly updated register for permanent use was developed. To study the usability of the database, years 2002 and 2003 were further analysed. Database included all transfused patients in major blood-transfusing hospitals from four university and five central hospital districts managing altogether 63% of Finnish inpatient hospital episodes.


Audit of gathered data reveal 96·8% match in adult blood components with Finnish Red Cross, Blood Service sales figures. Model data set includes 59 535 transfused patients (44·3% men and 55·7% women) having received 529 104 blood components. Half of all blood units were transfused in connection with surgical operations. Most of the blood recipients were elderly (51·6% are over 64 years of age). Blood-component use and transfusion-related costs varied widely between hospitals.


Hospital data managing systems can be useful for creating a population-based database system to monitor and compare transfusion practices. This record provides information about transfusion epidemiology for transfusion professionals, hospital management, and hospital administration.

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