Red Blood Cells
One unit of red blood cells (RBC) contains approximately
200mL red blood cells, 100 mL Optisol AS-5® (a solution added to extend
storage life) and ~30mL plasma. All red blood cell transfusions must be
ABO/Rh compatible with the recipient, so, in dire emergency, type O
negative can be used for all patients. RBC do not provide viable platelets,
nor do they provide clinically significant amounts of coagulation factors.
RBC must be stored between 1-6° C and have a shelf life of 42 days.
RBC are indicated for patients with symptomatic anemia who
are not treatable, within a reasonable amount of time considering their
symptoms, with specific therapy such as iron, vitamin B12, folic acid or
In a 70 kilogram adult, each unit should increase the hematocrit
||Blood Component Therapy
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