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Blood Transfusion Service (Under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life)
Blood Transfusion Service>Activities>Component Preparation

Component Preparation

Blood Component Preparation
The modern concept of blood transfusion is to transfuse to patients only the component he/she requires. Moreover, the advantage of preparing components is that from a single donation, many patients can benefit. Component transfusion also minimizes the risks associated with whole blood transfusion.
Following components are prepared from a unit of whole blood
Red Blood Cells
These are prepared from the whole blood by removing plasma. The advantage of transfusing red blood cells over whole blood, is that they can raise patient's hematocrit and hemoglobin levels while minimizing an increase in the volume. The shelf life of red blood cells is same as whole blood, i.e 35 days.
These are prepared by centrifuging whole blood to obtain platelet rich plasma which is further centrifuged to obtain platelets. These platelets are then suspended in approximately 50ml of plasma and stored at 22-24c under constant agitation for five days.
Platelets prepared from a unit of blood are not enough for treatment. A patient usually requires six such units of platelets to be therapeutically effective and therefore six donors are required for this.
On the other hand there are millions of platelets in a human body and a sufficient number can be obtained from a single donor without any adverse effects. This is done by a procedure called apheresis.
Fresh frozen plasma and cryoprecipitate
These are other components prepared from a unit of whole blood. They are usually used to treat deficiency of coagulation factors when such factors are not available.