Collection and processing:
The less-dense blood plasma is made into a variety of frozen components, and is labeled differently based on when it was frozen and what the intended use of the product is. If the plasma is frozen promptly and is intended for transfusion, it is typically labeled as fresh frozen plasma. If it is intended to be made into other products, it is typically labeled as recovered plasma or plasma for fractionation. Cryoprecipitate can be made from other plasma components. These components must be stored at 0 °F (−18 °C) or colder, but are typically stored at −22 °F (−30 °C). The layer between the red cells and the plasma is referred to as the buffy coat and is sometimes removed to make platelets for transfusion. Platelets are typically pooled before transfusion and have a shelf life of 5 to 7 days, or 3 days once the facility that collected them has completed their tests. Platelets are stored at room temperature (72 °F or 22 °C) and must be rocked/agitated. Since they are stored at room temperature in nutritive solutions, they are at relatively high risk for growing bacteria.
Storage and management:
Routine blood storage is 42 days or 6 weeks for stored packed red blood cells, by far the most commonly transfused blood product, and involves refrigeration but usually not freezing.Transfusions of platelets are comparatively far less numerous, but they present unique storage/management issues. Platelets may only be stored for 7 days, due largely to their greater potential for contamination, which is in turn due largely to a higher storage temperature.
RBC storage :
Insufficient transfusion efficacy can result from red blood cell (RBC) blood product units damaged by so-called storage lesion—a set of biochemical and biomechanical changes which occur during storage. With red cells, this can decrease viability and ability for tissue oxygenation. Although some of the biochemical changes are reversible after the blood is transfused, the biomechanical changes are less so, and rejuvenation products are not yet able to adequately reverse this phenomenon. Current regulatory measures are in place to minimize RBC storage lesion—including a maximum shelf life (currently 42 days), a maximum auto-hemolysis threshold and a minimum level of post-transfusion RBC survival in vivo (currently 75% after 24 hours).
Platelet storage :
Platelet storage is a very different phenomenon from RBC storage, due largely to the different functions of the products and purposes of the respective transfusions, along with different processing issues and inventory management considerations .