Rural areas may benefit from more blood donor panels

RURAL anaesthetists say Australia should consider expanding the number of panels of donors on call to give blood in emergencies.

The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists is discussing the issue because of the lack of rapid access to blood products with a short shelf-life in geographically isolated regions.

There are only 18 donor panels in Australia, with 16 in Queensland.

Armidale Rural Referral Hospital anaesthetist Dr David Rowe said the idea was worth looking at given that many major haemorrhage protocols now called for platelets to be given much earlier than previously recommended.