Washed And Volumereduced Blood Components

The typical unit of red blood cells for transfusion is already volume-reduced (i.e., low volume or "packed"). Platelets can also be volume-reduced prior to transfusion if there is a clinical need to limit the patient's intake of fluids.10

The washing of red cells and platelets is typically performed with 0.9% sodium chloride (normal saline). Washing effectively removes most of the plasma in the unit of red cells or platelets. Limiting a patient's exposure to donor plasma may be indicated for the recipient who is IgA-deficient and in whom there is concern about exposure to IgA-containing plasma, or if the plasma contains a specific protein or antibody that might be detrimental to the recipient.7172 A patient known to have anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions to allogeneic plasma may also be a candidate for washed blood components.7172 In the case of red blood cells, if there are clinical concerns about the recipient receiving potassium, washing may also be indicated to remove potassium that has accumulated in the plasma during storage or following irradiation. Both red cells and platelets are typically lost during the washing process. Washing is not effective in removing infectious agents, and thus does not decrease the potential for transfusion-transmitted infection. Washing is also not effective in removing significant numbers of white blood cells (i.e., for rendering a component leukocyte-reduced).10

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