A majority of hematologists/oncologists reported that some of their patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) experienced blood supply shortages that resulted in delayed red blood cell (RBC) transfusions, according to the results of study published in Current Medical Research and Opinion.

Long-term dependence on RBC transfusions is common among patients with MDS to treat disease-related anemia. Blood supply shortages could cause unnecessary burden for patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of blood supply shortages from the perspective of hematology/oncology physicians practicing in Europe.

The authors surveyed 378 physicians specializing in hematology/oncology in 5 European countries about blood supply for patients with transfusion-dependent MDS.  Blood supply shortages for patients with MDS were reported by 65% of physicians, with 17.2% of physicians reporting that 25% or more of their patients were affected.

Continue Reading

Shortages resulted in a mean delay in RBC transfusions of 4.2 days, with a total of 13.8% of patients affected by delays. There were 16.7% of patients who required additional healthcare visits due to delays. Transfusion delays were longest in suburban areas at a mean of 5.59 days compared with 4.06 days in urban areas.

There were differences in the length of transfusion delay between countries, with the shortest delay in Germany at a mean of 3.1 days, followed by 3.9 in the United Kingdom, 4.6 in Italy, and 4.8 in France and Spain. Additional healthcare visits also differed between countries, with nearly 20% of patients in Italy requiring additional visits compared with 12% in Spain.

The authors concluded that “our findings support the need for new treatment in MDS that reduce transfusions and thus blood supply needs.”

Disclosures: This study was supported by Bristol Myers Squibb. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.


Gupta S, Kulasekararaj AG, Costantino H, et al. Physicians’ experience in blood supply shortages and the top factors that impact the clinical, economic, and humanistic outcomes of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes in 5 European countries. Curr Med Res Opin. Published online December 7, 2022. doi: 10.1080/03007995.2022.2151735