Blood transfusion Blood storage

Blood cells are eventually destroyed due to oxidant damage during storage of whole blood. Since white cells and plasma enzyme systems are of importance in this cellular destruction, effects are correspondingly less severe for packed red cells. Blood used for transfusion in most of Europe is now routinely leukodepleted. Microaggregate formation is associated with platelets, white cells and fibrin and range in size from 20-170pm. The risk of microaggregate damage is reduced with packed red cells. In addition to spherocytosis and haemolysis, prolonged storage depletes ATP and 2,3-DPG levels thus increasing the oxygen affinity of the red cells. If whole blood is to be used in critically ill patients it should be as fresh as possible.

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