Storage and handling

Blood components must be stored at the appropriate temperature as shown in the following tables.

Failure to follow correct storage requirements may result in decreased transfusion efficacy, potential harm to the patient or the component being unsuitable for use and discarded.

Red cells

Storage temperature Shelf life Comments
2–6 ºC Red cells: 42 days All blood refrigerators, including theatre and other holding refrigerators, must comply with AS 3864.1, AS 3864.2 (1, 2)
  Paediatric red cells: 35 days  
  Washed red cells: 28 days  

Platelets

Storage temperature Shelf life Comments
20–24 ºC 7 days Platelet components must be agitated gently and continuously in a single layer on a platelet agitator.

 

Fresh frozen plasma (FFP), cryodepleted plasma, cryoprecipitate

Storage temperature Shelf life Comments
At or below –25 ºC 12 months Freezers must comply with AS 3864.1 & 3864.2 (1,2).

 

Fractionated plasma products

Storage temperature   Shelf life Comments
As per product insert As per expiry date on product All blood refrigerators, including theatre and other holding refrigerators must comply with AS 3864.1, AS 3864.2 (1, 2)

 

Key points

  • Keep handling of refrigerated components outside of refrigeration to a minimum to ensure that maximum temperature requirements are not exceeded.

  • Red cell components must not exceed 30 minutes at room temperature on each occasion.

  • Maintain components in a controlled temperature environment until administered.

  • Handle and store components in a way that minimises the possibility of product tampering.

  • Alarm set points should be set within 0.5 ºC of the storage temperature range.

Further information

Need help?