Revisiting blood transfusion preparedness: Experience from the bam earthquake response

Hassan Abolghasemi, Mohammad H. Radfar, Morteza Tabatabaee, Nasim S. Hosseini-Divkolayee, Frederick M. Burkle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Blood transfusion plays a critical role in the provision of medical care for disasters due to man-made and natural hazards. Although the short-term increase in blood donations following national disasters is well-documented, some aspects of blood transfusion during disasters remain under study. The 2003 earthquake in Bam, Iran resulted in the death of >29,000 people and injured 23,000. In total, 108,985 blood units were donated, but only 21,347 units (23%) actually were distributed to hospitals around the country. Kerman Province, the site of the disaster, received 1,231 (1.3%) of the donated units in the first four days after the disaster.The Bam experience revealed crucial missteps in the development of a post-event strategy for blood product management, and led to the development of a detailed disaster preparedness and response plan that addresses issues of donation, distribution, communication, transportation, and coordination. The current plan requires the Iranian Blood Transfusion Organization to convene a disaster task force immediately as the main coordinator of all disaster preparedness and response activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-394
Number of pages4
JournalPrehospital and disaster medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • blood transfusions
  • disaster management
  • disaster planning
  • earthquakes
  • natural disasters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency


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