Mobile blood donation logistics : case for Turkish Red Crescent
Şahinyazan, Feyza Güliz
Kara, Bahar Y.
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Blood transfusion is one of the most critical operations in various medical interventions. Currently, the only authorized way of securing the required blood for transfusion is through voluntary donations. For this reason, reorganizing blood donation operations to create an operable and efficient system is of utmost importance. In this study, a mobile blood collection system is designed for Turkish Red Crescent (TRC) to increase blood collection levels. This design also takes into account operational costs as a second objective so as to aim the collection of large amounts of blood at reasonable cost. In the current system, TRC has bloodmobiles that perform independent direct tours to certain activities (fairs, college fests etc.), but at the end of each day, they bring the collected blood to a designated depot to prevent its spoilage. Considering blood’s considerably short shelf-life of 24 hrs, these direct tours may seem justifiable yet they are not efficient in terms of logistics costs. The proposed system consists of classic bloodmobiles and a new vehicle – called the shuttle – which visits the bloodmobiles in the field and transfers the collected blood to the blood centers, so that bloodmobiles can continue their tours without having to make daily returns to the depot. A mathematical model is developed to determine the stops of bloodmobiles, the duration of each visit as well as the tours of the bloodmobiles and the shuttle. In the literature, a study that covers all these decisions does not exist. Therefore, a new extension of Selective Vehicle Routing Problem (SVRP) is defined, called SVRP with Integrated Tours. Also, a 2-stage IP based heuristic algorithm is developed for the same problem. The performances of these methodologies are tested on the data set obtained from past blood donation activities in Ankara. In addition, GIS data of the European part of Istanbul is used as a constructed test case. The Pareto set of optimum solutions is generated based on blood amounts and logistics costs, and finally a sensitivity analysis on some important design parameters is conducted.