Blood safety

WHO/Europe works with national health authorities and international stakeholders and partners for blood service reform, development of national donor programmes, quality management, clinical blood use, enhanced information sharing and dissemination of WHO guidelines and recommendations promoting the health system approach.

As part of the WHO Global Database for Blood Safety, WHO/Europe collects data on blood services in the WHO European Region to document achievements and reassess strategic directions.


The safety and availability of blood supplies have direct implications for public health, but the organization, capacity and safety standards of national blood and health services vary widely across the Region. Problems include:

  • outdated practices and inadequate risk assessment, which persist in some countries in the eastern part of the Region owing to deficient information flows and lack of appropriate training and technologies;
  • restrictive funding, which hinders local priority setting, mostly with respect to maintaining a balance between the acquisition of new technologies and the optimization of existing services; and
  • variable donation rates, availability of blood for clinical use and choice of transfusion therapies.