donated blood

Patients often require blood for treating a particular condition. The treatment is called blood therapy which requires donated blood.

You might have not yet known that donated blood is a deep subject, and there are many things to know, such as different blood components of blood and storage temperature apart from how the red blood cells, platelets and blood plasma are stored and transported.

Blood Components

In donated blood, red blood cells, platelets, plasma, granulocytes and cryoprecipitate AHF are the main transfusable components. An important thing to keep in mind is that white blood cells are often removed from donated blood before transfusion.

Whole Blood

Platelets, red cells and white cells are the major components of whole blood, which are also the most common blood donation type.

Donors transfuse the blood in the original form because it can be separated into certain components of plasma, red cells and platelets. And it is also the most flexible form of blood.

Whole blood comes to use when a patient requires all blood components, like those who have sustained substantial blood loss because of surgery or trauma.

Red Blood Cells

The red colour of the blood is due to the presence of red blood cells, or erythrocytes. The bone marrow produces red blood cells, the main transporter of oxygen to all parts of your body. When you exhale air, it takes out Carbon DiOxide from your body.


Platelets are small cell fragments in your blood with the main function of sticking to blood vessels’ lining to prevent bleeding. They are colourless in appearance, and the bone marrow manufactures them.


Blood plasma is the liquid component in blood that keeps the cellular components in a suspended state. In appearance, it is with a colour that varies from bright green to pale yellow depending on the person.

Plasma constitutes about 55 per cent of the total blood volume in a human body and is devoid of clotting factors or blood serum. About 90 per cent of its constituents are water, and the rest is substances, such as electrolytes, plasma proteins, vitamins, hormones and trace elements, which can dissolve in water. Its main function is to work as a medium for cellular components transportation.


Granulocytes protect people against infection. They appear in the form of white cells, which surround and destroy viruses and bacteria.

Doctors use them to treat infections when antibiotics fail to respond. And healthcare staff gathers Granulocytes through an automated process known as Apheresis.


Cryo constitutes a part of plasma and contributes to the clotting of blood. It also contains fibrinogen and Factor VIII. Clotting reduces blood loss during injury or illness.

White Blood Cells

White blood cells are also called leukocytes, which acts as a defence mechanism against diseases. White blood cells protect the human body in different ways. While some destroy bacteria, some produce antibodies against bacteria and viruses. Some variants fight against malignant disease.

White blood cells help you to remain healthy. But when it comes to donated blood, you need to be careful as it might carry viruses that could weaken your immune system and release toxic substances into your body. And that is why transfusable blood components are made free of leukocytes through a process called leuko-reduction.

Now, the question is how donated blood is stored and what happens during the storage.

How is Red Blood Cells Stored?

Specialists take out the plasma to prepare red blood cells. Red blood cells can have a 42-day shelf life, depending on the anticoagulant used.

Red blood cells have to be transported with proper care and in refrigerators. They can remain in good condition for 10 years.

How Are Platelets Stored?

Specialists use a centrifuge to separate the plasma rich in platelets from donated blood. They then combine platelets from different donors to make one transfusable unit.

Specialists can also obtain phthalates through an apheresis device that draws blood from the donor’s arm, separates the blood into various components, keeps some phthalates and returns the donor’s blood.

Platelets can remain in good condition for up to five days at room temperature. But healthcare staff needs to impart a general agitation to prevent them from clumping.

How is Blood Plasma Stored?

Specialists store blood plasma in hermetically sealed containers in frozen conditions inside plasma storage freezers. It also contains small amounts of pathogens and antigens. Transporters should transport blood plasma in frozen conditions.

The activity of the protein in blood plasma can negatively impact the blood plasma quality. If it gets exposed to excessive heat, it can decrease the activity, affecting the plasma’s quality.

How to Transport Blood?

Do not fall behind in implementing Good Distribution Practices while transporting and distributing blood. The practices set into motion the standard operating procedures(SOP) for your lab. Moreover, cleanliness should be a part of your SOPs.

If you detect any deviation of your practices from the SOPs, analyze the deviation and implement measures to get things right.

Your SOPs will also become the standard guidelines for transporters to carry blood without causing any damages.


Now, you know the different blood components and how to store and store blood. It is now the time to assess your refrigerator to figure out whether it is right for your laboratory needs. If not, then invest in a good quality refrigerator. Choose a manufacturer that provides the best-in-class refrigerators to maintain efficiency in your lab functioning.

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