In April 1995 the Ministry of Public Health invited all Belgian hospitals to participate to a survey on the use of blood transfusion. The questionnaire presented two parts, the first one devoted to products transfused and the second one to the transfusion organisation in the hospital. 71 hospitals answered: 7 university and 64 general hospitals. All hospitals reported the use of red cells, 31 of them still used whole blood. Surgical departments transfused the greatest absolute amount of units, but the highest intensity (units/bed/year) was observed in intensive care units. 52 hospitals mentioned the use of autologous predeposit. The highest consumption of platelets occurred in medicine but intensive care showed the highest intensity of platelet transfusion. In 41 hospitals platelets were obtained by cytapheresis. The number of plasma units transfused was highly correlated with the quantities of packed red cells and whole blood transfused. Ten hospitals didn't report the use of any blood conservation technique. Returning unused units to the blood bank was allowed in 80% of the hospitals, their return to the transfusion center was permitted in 65% of the hospitals. A transfusion committee existed in only 11 hospitals. Transfusion should be improved by a better education of all physicians and nurses involved with transfusion and by improving standardisation, by better documentation, better reporting and information of all health care workers involved.