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Meeting blood requirements following terrorist attacks: the Israeli experience

Shinar, Eilata; Yahalom, Vereda; Silverman, Barbara Gb

doi: 10.1097/01.moh.0000245691.32085.66
Transfusion medicine

Purpose of review Blood services worldwide must be prepared to meet surges in demand for blood components needed by casualties of domestic disasters and acts of terrorism. Israel's National Blood Services, operated by Magen David Adom, has extensive experience in managing blood collections and supply in emergencies. This review summarizes the structure and function of Magen David Adom's national blood program, and relates its experience to other practices that have been reported in the medical literature.

Recent findings Between 2000 and 2005, 7497 victims (85% civilians) were involved in 1645 terrorist attacks in Israel. On-site triage resulted in 967 (13%) deaths at the scene, 615 (8%) with severe injuries, 897 (12%) with moderate injuries and 5018 (67%) with mild injuries. Requests for blood averaged 1.3 blood units and 0.9 components per casualty, or 6.7 units and 4.5 components per severe and moderately injured patient. Public appeals for blood donations were managed centrally to match supply with demand and prevent wastage.

Summary This experience illustrates the advantages of a comprehensive program for managing blood operations in emergency situations. A coordinated national program can stabilize in-hospital inventories during routine activities, ensure instant access to precisely defined inventories, facilitate sufficient supply in times of disasters, and minimize outdating and wastage.

aMagen David Adom National Blood Services, Israel

bMaccabi Healthcare Services, Israel

Correspondence to Prof. Eilat Shinar, Director, Magen David Adom National Blood Services, Tel-Hashomer 52621, Israel Tel: +972 3 5300409; fax: +972 3 5300500; e-mail:

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.