How can one donation help multiple people?
In modern medical treatments, patients may receive a pint of whole blood or just specific components of the blood needed to treat their particular condition. Up to four components can be derived from donated blood. This approach to treatment, referred to as blood component therapy, allows several patients to benefit from one pint of donated whole blood. The main transfusable blood components include:
Whole blood contains red cells, white cells, and platelets (~45% of volume) suspended in plasma (~55% of volume).
Red cells, or erythrocytes, carry oxygen from the lungs to your body’s tissue and take carbon dioxide back to your lungs to be exhaled.
Platelets, or thrombocytes, are small, colorless cell fragments in the blood whose main function is to interact with clotting proteins to stop or prevent bleeding.
Plasma is a fluid, composed of about 92% water, 7% vital proteins such as albumin, gamma globulin, anti- hemophilic factor, and other clotting factors, and 1% mineral salts, sugars, fats, hormones and vitamins.
Cryoprecipitated Antihemophilic Factor (Cryo) is a portion of plasma rich in clotting factors, including Factor VIII and fibrinogen. It is prepared by freezing and then slowly thawing the frozen plasma.
Transfusable Blood Components Summary
|Whole Blood||Red Blood Cells||Platelets||Plasma||Cryoprecipitated AHF|
|COLOR OF THIS BLOOD COMPONENT|
|BLOOD COMPONENT SHELF LIFE|
|21 / 35 Days*||Up to 42 Days*||5 Days||1 Year||1 Year|
|Refrigerated||Refrigerated||Room temperature with constant agitation to prevent clumping||Frozen||Frozen|
|KEY USES OF THIS BLOOD TYPE|
* Shelf life of whole blood and red cells varies based on the type anticoagulant used.
Learn More About Each Blood Component