A centre of research excellence will be established at The Alfred to further our understanding and management of blood, following a successful grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council.
The $2.5 million grant over six years will see The Alfred collaborate with Monash University to develop clinical trials to improve patient blood management and to measure the impact of blood transfusions in Australia.
The establishment of the new centre comes as blood transfusion is fast becoming an area of major public concern.
Professor Jamie Cooper, director of intensive care research at The Alfred, and chief lead investigator, said there is continuing uncertainty about how to best use blood and blood products in the critically ill and trauma patients.
"Demand for blood will soon outstrip supply of donated blood in Australia, mainly due to our aging population and younger donors are becoming relatively fewer. And, it's not simply a matter of accelerating supply, because that is not possible to do," Jamie said.
"The cost, just for red blood cells, is over half-a-billion dollars every year and 20 per cent of those costs are incurred in intensive care units.
"The goal of the new centre of research excellence is to improve practice and patient outcomes and reduce demand by testing alternatives to blood transfusions. Another aim is to build a national registry to measure outcomes and build understanding of this vital community resource."