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Blood Component Storage & Handling


As stated in the Agreement , the Transfusion Facility furnishes specific storage units, restricted to storage of blood and other biologicals, capable of maintaining required storage temperatures as specified in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Standards of the AABB and BSI policies and procedures.

Normal Storage and Temperature Monitoring

Storage units must be equipped with a continuous temperature monitoring system that records temperatures at least once every four hours and an alarm that sounds if temperature limits are reached. The facility verifies continuous blood storage temperature of the storage units and maintains such documentation. The facility notifies Blood Centers of the Pacific of any temperature deficiencies in the storage of blood and blood components within 24 hours of the occurrence and agrees not to return units subjected to temperatures outside the required ranges unless approved for return by BCP. Documentation of storage temperatures may be required during inspections by regulatory agencies, and the facility agrees to provide records to BCP upon request.

Requirements for blood storage units are:

Component Storage Temperature
Whole Blood, Red Blood Cells 1-6C
Plasma, Cryoprecipitated AHF -18C or colder
Platelets 20-24C, with gentle agitation
Granulocytes 20-24C, without agitation

Additional criteria for storage and handling:

  • Blood and blood products must be stored in labeled designated storage areas/units.
  • Alarm checks of storage units must be performed and adequate corrective action taken when indicated.
  • When released to another department, blood components must be maintained within appropriate storage temperatures or returned to proper storage within a specified time if storage is not available and the component is not transfused.
  • Store in an orderly fashion to prevent crowding and allow air circulation.
  • Do not store quarantined components above other components.
  • Do not store reagents above blood components.
  • Segregate autologous components from allogeneic components, and biohazard labeled autologous components from other autologous components.
  • Do not overlap platelet bags during storage, and place face down to optimize oxygen exchange.

Storage Unit Failures

In the event of a storage unit failure, components must be moved to appropriate alternative storage. If alternative storage is not available with a temperature monitoring system, temperatures must be manually checked and recorded a minimum of every 4 hours. Alternative storage may be temporary storage of components in BCP shipping containers. Contact Hospital Services to discuss alternative storage at BCP or using BCP shipping containers.

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