FACTS ABOUT BLOOD

Facts about blood and its components

  • There are four types of transfusable products that can be derived from blood: red cells, platelets, plasma and cryoprecipitate. Typically, two or three of these are produced from a pint of donated whole blood – hence each donation can help save up to three lives.
  • Donors can give either whole blood or specific blood components only. The process of donating specific blood components – red cells, plasma or platelets – is called apheresis.
  • One transfusion dose of platelets can be obtained through one apheresis donation of platelets or by combining the platelets derived from five whole blood donations.
  • Most donated red blood cells must be used within 42 days of collection.
  • Donated platelets must be used within five days of collection – new donations are constantly needed.
  • Plasma and cryoprecipitate are stored in frozen state and can be used for up to one year after collection.
  • Healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets. The body will replenish the elements given during a blood donation – some in a matter of hours and others in a matter of weeks.