A platelet is a disk-shaped structure found in the blood of all mammals, playing a major role in the coagulation of blood 1; platelets are transfused to patients to treat or prevent bleeding during surgery and other medical conditions associated with platelet deﬁciency or function defect. Platelets shelf life for transfusion purposes is up to six days; however, due to testing, platelets are generally not released to inventory until 24 hours after the collection time. Therefore, usable platelet shelf life is generally ﬁve days. This is an extremely short product shelf life compared to other blood products. This makes inventory management of platelets
production cost of platelets, which includes collection, testing, processing, and distribution costs, is high in general (about 500 for Apheresis and 65 for whole–blood–derived platelet units according to a 2005 nationwide blood collection and utilization survey report based on 2004 data (NBD 2003). In 2004, almost 17% (974,000 out of 5,729,000 processed units) of platelet units that were collected in the USA were outdated without being transfused. The nationwide outdate rate for Apheresis platelet units was 13.9% and for whole–blood– derived platelet units was 18.1% (NBD 2003). These percentages translate to an almost 156 million dollar loss in 2004. Furthermore, platelets are high proﬁt margin products. Thus, losing a platelet unit due to expiration is a huge ﬁnancial burden for blood centers. Yet another challenge is the limited pool of platelet donors. There is no artiﬁcial substitute for platelets; that is, platelets can only be collected from a generous human beings. Moreover, due to age and health requirements, only about 60% of the USA population is eligible to donate blood (USABlood 2011), and currently less than 5% of those who are eligible actually donate (BloodCenter 2011). Consequently, blood donated by others is used most of the time (known as allogenic transfusion). In addition, platelets cannot be converted to alternative
a challenging task. However, the challenges are not limited to short shelf life. The unit
products or kept frozen for future use. Hence, if there is a mismatch between supply and demand leading to excess inventory, the excess inventory of platelets is lost. The four USA National Blood Policy (NBP) goals are: (1) An adequate supply of blood (supply); (2) Delivery of the highest quality blood service (quality); (3) Patient accessibility to blood service regardless of economic status (accessibility); and (4) Eﬃcient collection, processing, storage, and utilization of the national supply of blood and blood products (eﬃciency) (NBD 2003). The NBP did not clarify the meaning of adequate supply, however it did indicate the meaning of others. For example, quality means volunteer donors and component therapy, accessibility means charges based on costs and health insurance coverage, and eﬃciency means minimizing cost by reducing outdating and regionalising blood services. Motivated by these facts, the goal of this study is to approach the challenging task of managing platelet inventory and to reduce both the outdate and shortage rate using a supply chain perspective. ten policies were developed to achieve these goals. These policies were built to based on a mix of FIFO (First In First Out), LIFO (Last In First Out), and circular policy to satisfy diﬀerent demand types. To evaluate the above policies it is necessary to translate the NBP goals into operating policy objectives. After the objectives have been developed the results of the policy analysis will be presented. The paper concludes with a comparative analysis of these policies and give recommendations to improve the practices and processes of blood platelet bank’s inventory.
Goals and operating policy objectives
Blood platelets are perishable and must be used within six days....