• blast;
  • blood components;
  • blood service;
  • blood stocks;
  • emergency preparedness;
  • mass casualty events;
  • terrorism


Mass casualty events (MCE) present health systems with a sudden demand on key services. The overall objective of this study was to describe the experience of the National Blood Service (NBS) following the largest UK MCE in recent times. Data was collated from the NBS database and directly from the hospitals involved. All data was collected immediately following the event and included: all blood components requested, issued and transfused in relation to the bombings, blood stock levels at the time and the injury profiles of the casualties transfused. The total NBS order from hospitals for the event was 1455 units of blood components. All requests were fulfilled, this included: 978 units of red cells (RC), 36 doses of platelets, 141 units of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) and 300 doses of cryoprecipitate. The amount of blood ordered was three times that initially used and the total number of RC transfused in treating all victims from admission to discharge was approximately 440 units. The greatest use of blood components was for those casualties who had sustained traumatic amputations amongst their injury profile. Published data with which to compare these results is lacking, although the RC use was similar to the initial mean individual usage described in previous military and civilian bombings. The overall implication for any blood service remains, there is now likely to be a far greater demand for plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitate in any future incidents involving victims suffering major haemorrhage.