About 25 million blood transfusions are administered to patients every year throughout the European Union. What may come to mind to most people when thinking about blood transfusion is acute or emergency care. However, in reality around 2/3 of red blood cell transfusions are used in the medical care of anaemia related to chronic diseases such as blood, cancer, kidney and cardiovascular diseases.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the surface the need to strengthen public health programme, and develop innovative approaches and tools to effectively address these challenges, support the sustainability of the European blood systems and improve the use and management of blood, write Dr Androulla Eleftheriou, Dr Axel Hofmann and Prof Norbert Gattermann.
Dr Androulla Eleftheriou is the Executive Director of the Thalassaemia International Federation. Dr Axel Hofmann is visiting Professor at the Institute of Anaesthesiology at the University Hospital Zürich and Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Medicine at the University of Western Australia. Prof Norbert Gattermann is Senior Consultant in the Department of Hematology, Oncology and Clinical Immunology and Managing Director of the University Cancer Centre at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf.