Red cells

They may be resuspended in other additives to prolong storage and filtered to remove most of the leucocytes.

A red cell unit is divided into four packs of equal volume to create paediatric red cells. This is to reduce donor exposure for small volume paediatric transfusions and to minimise product wastage.

Washed red cells are prepared using a manual process that double washes leucodepleted red cells (<14 days old) with SAG-M (saline adenine mannitol glucose) solution to remove the majority of plasma proteins, antibodies and electrolytes. The washed red cells are then resuspended in SAG-M solution to preserve their shelf life.

Red cells must be stored at 2 to 6ºC and have a variable shelf life.

 

Typical unit content and specifications

The typical unit content data is derived from Lifeblood process control testing. For each parameter, the mean value (± 1 SD) and specification is shown.

Unless otherwise specified, data is for the period 1 January to 31 December 2021.

 

Red cells leucocyte depleted

Volume (mL) 259 ± 15 (>220)
Haemoglobin (g/unit) 48 ± 5 (≥ 40)
Haematocrit (L/L) 0.59 ± 0.03 (0.50–0.70)
Haemolysis (% at expiry) 0.3 ± 0.1 (< 0.8)
Leucocyte count (106 /unit) 0.02 ± 0.06 (< 1.0)

 

Paediatric red cells leucocyte depleted

Volume (mL) 60 ± 4 (25–100)
Haemoglobin (g/unit) (Initial unit prior to splitting ≥ 40)
Haematocrit (L/L) 0.63 ± 0.03 (0.50–0.70)
Haemolysis (% at expiry) 0.2 ± 0.1 (< 0.8)
Leucocyte count (10^6 /unit) (Initial unit prior to splitting < 1.0)

 

Washed red cells leucocyte depleted*

Volume (mL) 259 ± 15 (> 130)
Haemoglobin (g/unit) 48 ± 5 (≥ 40)
Haematocrit (L/L) 0.62 ± 0.03 (0.50–0.70)
Haemolysis (% at expiry) 0.2 ± 0.1 (< 0.8)
Leucocyte count (10^6 /unit) (Initial unit prior to splitting <1.0)
Last wash supernatant total protein (g/unit) 0.01 ± 0.00 (< 0.8)

 

Availability

Leucodepleted red cells are available in Group O, A, B and AB, and RhD positive and RhD negative groups.
  

Modifications

Red cells can be phenotyped, washed, CMV seronegative, frozen and irradiated.

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