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Blood Components

Red Blood Cells

One unit of red blood cells (RBC) contains approximately 200 mL red blood cells, 100 mL additive solution (AS-1, AS-3) and ~30 mL plasma. Additive solutions replace the majority of plasma from a whole blood unit and extend storage life of the unit. Some RBCs are available without the additive solution, with only anticoagulant present with the plasma (CPDA-1, CP2D, CPD). Each configuration contains the pertinent information on the product or component label. Expiration dating depends on the additive or anticoagulant present in the unit. RBCs must be stored at 1-6C.


Apheresis leukocyte reduced platelets, collected from a single donor, are prepared in 200-400 mL of plasma, and contain a minimum yield of 3.0x 10" platelets. Each pheresis unit is equivalent to 6-8 whole blood derived platelet concentrates and is usually an adequate dose for an average size adult. Platelets expire in 5 days or 7 days. The expiration date will be clear on the product label. Platelets must be stored between 20-24C with gentle agitation.

Blood Centers of the Pacific does not supply platelet concentrates produced from Whole Blood donations.

Platelets supplied by BCP have been screened for bacterial contamination and found to be negative in compliance with AABB Standard Additional testing is not required by the Transfusion Facility.

Plasma Products

Several plasma component configurations are available. Anticoagulant and volume depend on the collection process. Plasma provided from whole blood donations contains approximately 250mL. Plasma provided from apheresis donations contains a minimum of 200 mL. Pediatric configurations can be provided from apheresis fresh frozen plasma products. Each unit contains the pertinent information on the component or product label.

Depending on center processes, plasma may be provided as:

  • Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP)
  • Plasma Frozen within 24 Hours
  • Cryo-Reduced Plasma

Frozen expiration date is 365 days. Expiration dating of a thawed component depends on the type of plasma component. Thawed FFP must be transfused within 24 hour of thawing. Other thawed plasma products must be transfused within 5 days of thawing. Frozen plasma units must be stored at <-18C. Thawed plasma must be stored between 1-6C.

Cryoprecipitated Anti Hemophiliac Factor (Cryo, Cryoppt, Cryoprecipitate)

Cryo is prepared from plasma collected from a whole blood donation and contains Fibrinogen (>150 mg), von Willebrand Factor, Factor VIII (>80 IU), Factor XIII and Fibronectin. Cryo is the only adequate fibrinogen concentrate available for intravenous use. Each cryo unit contains approximately 15 mL plasma. Frozen expiration date is 365 days. Thawed cryo has an expiration date of 4 hours. Frozen cryo must be stored at <-18C. Thawed cryo must be stored at room temperature.


Granulocytes prepared by apheresis are indicated for a very limited use. The Transfusion Facility must discuss use of this component with the BCP Medical Director to coordinate collection. Granulocytes have a short expiration time after collection (24 hours). They are stored at 20-24C without agitation.

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