Achieve Mastery of Medical Concepts

Study for medical school and boards with Lecturio

Transfusion Products

Although fresh whole blood was the only product Product A molecule created by the enzymatic reaction. Basics of Enzymes available in the early years of transfusion, the advent of whole-blood fractionation techniques has allowed for more efficient use of the various blood components. Fractionated transfusion products, prepared in blood transfusion centers, include RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology, platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology, FFP, and cryoprecipitate. These products are transfused for different indications and each addresses different pathologies.

Last updated: May 11, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Introduction

  • The 1st human blood transfusion was in 1795.
  • Blood transfusions are a very common medical procedure.
  • 21 million blood components are transfused each year in the United States.
  • Blood and its products are, at a minimum, screened for: 
    • Hepatitis B Hepatitis B Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a partially double-stranded DNA virus, which belongs to the Orthohepadnavirus genus and the Hepadnaviridae family. Most individuals with acute HBV infection are asymptomatic or have mild, self-limiting symptoms. Chronic infection can be asymptomatic or create hepatic inflammation, leading to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Hepatitis B Virus
    • Hepatitis C Hepatitis C Hepatitis C is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The infection can be transmitted through infectious blood or body fluids and may be transmitted during childbirth or through IV drug use or sexual intercourse. Hepatitis C virus can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis, ranging from a mild to a serious, lifelong illness including liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Hepatitis C Virus 
    • HIV HIV Anti-HIV Drugs
    • Human T-cell lymphotropic virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology (HTLV)
    • Syphilis Syphilis Syphilis is a bacterial infection caused by the spirochete Treponema pallidum pallidum (T. p. pallidum), which is usually spread through sexual contact. Syphilis has 4 clinical stages: primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary. Syphilis
    • Bacterial contaminants
    • Zika Zika Zika virus belongs to the genus Flavivirus and is primarily transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, but can also be transmitted sexually and transplacentally. Although most infected patients are asymptomatic, some may present with low-grade fever, pruritic rash, and conjunctivitis. Zika Virus Infection virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology
  • Donations are ABO and Rhesus factor Rhesus factor Blood Group Systems (Rh) typed and screened.
  • Types of blood products used: 
    • Whole blood
    • Packed RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology
    • Platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology
    • Plasma
    • Cryoprecipitate
Composition of blood

A centrifuged tube showing the components in whole blood (plasma, RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology, platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology, and WBCs)

Image: “The cellular elements of blood include a vast number of erythrocytes Erythrocytes Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology and comparatively fewer leukocytes Leukocytes White blood cells. These include granular leukocytes (basophils; eosinophils; and neutrophils) as well as non-granular leukocytes (lymphocytes and monocytes). White Myeloid Cells: Histology and platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology” by OpenStax College. License: CC BY 4.0
Table: Blood group compatibility for giving and receiving blood
Blood type Can give to individuals with blood type: Can receive from donors with blood type:
A+ A+, AB+ A+, A–, O+, O
A– A+, A-, AB+, AB– A-, O–
B+ B+, AB+ B+, B–, O+, O–
B- B+, B–, AB+, AB– B–, O–
O+ A+, B+, O+, AB+ O+, O–
O– Everyone O–
AB+ AB+ Everyone
AB– AB+, AB– AB–, A–, B–, O–

Transfusion Products

Packed RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology

  • Created by removal of the majority of plasma from a unit of whole blood:
    • Each unit contains:
      • 200 mL of RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology
      • 70 mL of plasma
      • 100 mL of additives (citrate as an anticoagulant, phosphate Phosphate Inorganic salts of phosphoric acid. Electrolytes, dextrose Dextrose Intravenous Fluids)
      • Hematocrit Hematocrit The volume of packed red blood cells in a blood specimen. The volume is measured by centrifugation in a tube with graduated markings, or with automated blood cell counters. It is an indicator of erythrocyte status in disease. For example, anemia shows a low value; polycythemia, a high value. Neonatal Polycythemia of 65%–80%
      • Volume of 250–300 mL 
      • Can be stored up to 42 days
    • 1 unit should: 
      • ↑ Hemoglobin by 1 g/dL 
      • Hematocrit Hematocrit The volume of packed red blood cells in a blood specimen. The volume is measured by centrifugation in a tube with graduated markings, or with automated blood cell counters. It is an indicator of erythrocyte status in disease. For example, anemia shows a low value; polycythemia, a high value. Neonatal Polycythemia by 3% 
  • Additional processing to RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology:
    • Leukocyte-reduced: 
      • Filtered to remove 85%–90% of WBCs
      • ↓ Risk of adverse patient reactions during transfusion
    • Irradiated:
      • Prepared by exposing the unit to 2500 cGy of radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma 
      • Inactivates donor T cells T cells Lymphocytes responsible for cell-mediated immunity. Two types have been identified – cytotoxic (t-lymphocytes, cytotoxic) and helper T-lymphocytes (t-lymphocytes, helper-inducer). They are formed when lymphocytes circulate through the thymus gland and differentiate to thymocytes. When exposed to an antigen, they divide rapidly and produce large numbers of new T cells sensitized to that antigen. T cells: Types and Functions 
      • ↓ Risk of a graft-versus-host reaction in recipient
    • Washed: 
      • Washing RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology with 0.9% NaCl depletes packed RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology of most plasma
      • Used for individuals with history of severe allergy Allergy An abnormal adaptive immune response that may or may not involve antigen-specific IgE Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction to transfusion

Platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology

  • Platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology (thrombocytes) are small, colorless fragments derived from megakaryocytes (precursor cells).
  • Involved in the formation of clots
  • Pooled platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology
    • Separated from a unit of donated blood 
    • 4–6 units are pooled to allow an adequate number of platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology per transfusion.
    • Advantages:
      • ↓ Cost 
      • Ease of collection 
    • Disadvantages:
  • Apheresis platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology:
    • Platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology are selectively removed from blood taken from the individual and then returned to the donor.
    • An apheresis platelet unit is equivalent to ≥ 6 units of platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology from whole blood. 

Plasma

  • Plasma is “pooled” in containers (separated from RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology) and then fractionated.
  • Yellow liquid component of blood
  • Holds proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis and other constituents of whole blood in suspension:
    • Albumin Albumin Serum albumin from humans. It is an essential carrier of both endogenous substances, such as fatty acids and bilirubin, and of xenobiotics in the blood. Liver Function Tests
    • Blood clotting factors
    • Immunoglobulin
    • Globulins
    • Fibrinogen Fibrinogen Plasma glycoprotein clotted by thrombin, composed of a dimer of three non-identical pairs of polypeptide chains (alpha, beta, gamma) held together by disulfide bonds. Fibrinogen clotting is a sol-gel change involving complex molecular arrangements: whereas fibrinogen is cleaved by thrombin to form polypeptides a and b, the proteolytic action of other enzymes yields different fibrinogen degradation products. Hemostasis
  • FFP: 
    • Frozen < 8 hours after collection
    • Contains all coagulation factors Coagulation factors Endogenous substances, usually proteins, that are involved in the blood coagulation process. Hemostasis and proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis
    • Dose: 12–15 mL/kg, but varies on the basis of indication
  • Plasma frozen < 24 hours after phlebotomy Phlebotomy The techniques used to draw blood from a vein for diagnostic purposes or for treatment of certain blood disorders such as erythrocytosis, hemochromatosis, polycythemia vera, and porphyria cutanea tarda. Hereditary Hemochromatosis (PF24): contains ↓ levels of factor VIII Factor VIII Factor VIII of blood coagulation. Antihemophilic factor that is part of the factor viii/von Willebrand factor complex. Factor VIII is produced in the liver and acts in the intrinsic pathway of blood coagulation. It serves as a cofactor in factor X activation and this action is markedly enhanced by small amounts of thrombin. Hemostasis and protein C 
  • Thawed plasma:
    • Can be kept in refrigerator up to 5 days
    • ↓ Levels of factor V Factor V Heat- and storage-labile plasma glycoprotein which accelerates the conversion of prothrombin to thrombin in blood coagulation. Factor V accomplishes this by forming a complex with factor Xa, phospholipid, and calcium (prothrombinase complex). Hemostasis and factor VIII Factor VIII Factor VIII of blood coagulation. Antihemophilic factor that is part of the factor viii/von Willebrand factor complex. Factor VIII is produced in the liver and acts in the intrinsic pathway of blood coagulation. It serves as a cofactor in factor X activation and this action is markedly enhanced by small amounts of thrombin. Hemostasis
  • Liquid plasma: plasma that has never been frozen
  • Solvent/detergent (S/D): treated with viral inactivating agents prior to freezing
  • Cryoprecipitate reduced: 
    • Cryoprecipitate has been removed.
    • Still contains all vitamin K Vitamin K A lipid cofactor that is required for normal blood clotting. Several forms of vitamin K have been identified: vitamin K 1 (phytomenadione) derived from plants, vitamin K 2 (menaquinone) from bacteria, and synthetic naphthoquinone provitamins, vitamin K 3 (menadione). Vitamin k 3 provitamins, after being alkylated in vivo, exhibit the antifibrinolytic activity of vitamin k. Green leafy vegetables, liver, cheese, butter, and egg yolk are good sources of vitamin k. Fat-soluble Vitamins and their Deficiencies–dependent clotting factors
  • Convalescent plasma: prepared from individuals who have recovered from infection with a specific pathogen.

Cryoprecipitate

  • Derived from plasma that is frozen ≤ 8 hours after collection (FFP)
    • The plasma is thawed to between 1 and 6°C and subsequently centrifuged.
    • The fraction that precipitates out of solution is collected and refrozen to –18°C.
    • This process creates 1 unit of cryoprecipitate.
  • A transfusion bag contains between 5 and 10 units of cryoprecipitate.
  • Each unit contains:
    • Fibrinogen Fibrinogen Plasma glycoprotein clotted by thrombin, composed of a dimer of three non-identical pairs of polypeptide chains (alpha, beta, gamma) held together by disulfide bonds. Fibrinogen clotting is a sol-gel change involving complex molecular arrangements: whereas fibrinogen is cleaved by thrombin to form polypeptides a and b, the proteolytic action of other enzymes yields different fibrinogen degradation products. Hemostasis: 150–300 mg of fibrinogen Fibrinogen Plasma glycoprotein clotted by thrombin, composed of a dimer of three non-identical pairs of polypeptide chains (alpha, beta, gamma) held together by disulfide bonds. Fibrinogen clotting is a sol-gel change involving complex molecular arrangements: whereas fibrinogen is cleaved by thrombin to form polypeptides a and b, the proteolytic action of other enzymes yields different fibrinogen degradation products. Hemostasis; half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: 100–150 hours
    • Factor VIII Factor VIII Factor VIII of blood coagulation. Antihemophilic factor that is part of the factor viii/von Willebrand factor complex. Factor VIII is produced in the liver and acts in the intrinsic pathway of blood coagulation. It serves as a cofactor in factor X activation and this action is markedly enhanced by small amounts of thrombin. Hemostasis: > 80 IU (range, 80–150); half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: 12 hours
    • Factor XIII: 50–75 units; half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: 150–300 hours
    • von Willebrand factor von Willebrand factor A high-molecular-weight plasma protein, produced by endothelial cells and megakaryocytes, that is part of the factor VIII/von Willebrand factor complex. The von Willebrand factor has receptors for collagen, platelets, and ristocetin activity as well as the immunologically distinct antigenic determinants. It functions in adhesion of platelets to collagen and hemostatic plug formation. The prolonged bleeding time in von Willebrand diseases is due to the deficiency of this factor. Hemostasis: 100–150 units; half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: 24 hours
    • Fibronectin Fibronectin Glycoproteins found on the surfaces of cells, particularly in fibrillar structures. The proteins are lost or reduced when these cells undergo viral or chemical transformation. They are highly susceptible to proteolysis and are substrates for activated blood coagulation factor VIII. The forms present in plasma are called cold-insoluble globulins. Connective Tissue: Histology: in variable Variable Variables represent information about something that can change. The design of the measurement scales, or of the methods for obtaining information, will determine the data gathered and the characteristics of that data. As a result, a variable can be qualitative or quantitative, and may be further classified into subgroups. Types of Variables concentrations

Breakdown of the blood components

Table: Breakdown of the blood components
Blood components Subcomponents of the blood Type Production site Main tasks
Plasma 43%–63% Water 92% Liquid Absorbed in GI tract or made during metabolism Transport medium
Plasma proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis 7% Albumin Albumin Serum albumin from humans. It is an essential carrier of both endogenous substances, such as fatty acids and bilirubin, and of xenobiotics in the blood. Liver Function Tests 54%–60% Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy
  • Maintains osmotic concentration
  • Transports lipid molecules
Globulins 35%–38% Alpha globulins: liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy Transport and maintain osmotic concentration
Beta globulins: liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy Transport and maintain osmotic concentration
Gamma globulins ( immunoglobulins Immunoglobulins Immunoglobulins (Igs), also known as antibodies, are glycoprotein molecules produced by plasma cells that act in immune responses by recognizing and binding particular antigens. The various Ig classes are IgG (the most abundant), IgM, IgE, IgD, and IgA, which differ in their biologic features, structure, target specificity, and distribution. Immunoglobulins: Types and Functions): plasma cells Plasma cells Specialized forms of antibody-producing B-lymphocytes. They synthesize and secrete immunoglobulin. They are found only in lymphoid organs and at sites of immune responses and normally do not circulate in the blood or lymph. Humoral Adaptive Immunity Immune response
Fibrinogen Fibrinogen Plasma glycoprotein clotted by thrombin, composed of a dimer of three non-identical pairs of polypeptide chains (alpha, beta, gamma) held together by disulfide bonds. Fibrinogen clotting is a sol-gel change involving complex molecular arrangements: whereas fibrinogen is cleaved by thrombin to form polypeptides a and b, the proteolytic action of other enzymes yields different fibrinogen degradation products. Hemostasis 4%–7% Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy Blood clotting during hemostasis Hemostasis Hemostasis refers to the innate, stepwise body processes that occur following vessel injury, resulting in clot formation and cessation of bleeding. Hemostasis occurs in 2 phases, namely, primary and secondary. Primary hemostasis involves forming a plug that stops the bleeding temporarily. Secondary hemostasis involves the activation of the coagulation cascade. Hemostasis
Regulatory proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis < 1%
  • Hormones Hormones Hormones are messenger molecules that are synthesized in one part of the body and move through the bloodstream to exert specific regulatory effects on another part of the body. Hormones play critical roles in coordinating cellular activities throughout the body in response to the constant changes in both the internal and external environments. Hormones: Overview and Types
  • Enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes
Various locations Regulate various body functions
Other dissolved substances 1%
  • Nutrients
  • Gases
  • Waste
  • Absorbed in GI tract
  • Replacement of cells in respiratory tract
  • Made in cells
Many different functions
Formed elements 37%–54% Erythrocytes Erythrocytes Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology 99% Erythrocytes Erythrocytes Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology Red marrow Transports gasses, O2, and some CO2
  • Leukocytes Leukocytes White blood cells. These include granular leukocytes (basophils; eosinophils; and neutrophils) as well as non-granular leukocytes (lymphocytes and monocytes). White Myeloid Cells: Histology < 1%
  • Platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology < 1%
Red marrow Nonspecific immune response
  • Agranular leukocytes Leukocytes White blood cells. These include granular leukocytes (basophils; eosinophils; and neutrophils) as well as non-granular leukocytes (lymphocytes and monocytes). White Myeloid Cells: Histology
  • Lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology
  • Monocytes Monocytes Large, phagocytic mononuclear leukocytes produced in the vertebrate bone marrow and released into the blood; contain a large, oval or somewhat indented nucleus surrounded by voluminous cytoplasm and numerous organelles. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation
Lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology: bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types marrow and lymphoid tissue Lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology: specific immune response
Monocytes Monocytes Large, phagocytic mononuclear leukocytes produced in the vertebrate bone marrow and released into the blood; contain a large, oval or somewhat indented nucleus surrounded by voluminous cytoplasm and numerous organelles. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation: red marrow Monocytes Monocytes Large, phagocytic mononuclear leukocytes produced in the vertebrate bone marrow and released into the blood; contain a large, oval or somewhat indented nucleus surrounded by voluminous cytoplasm and numerous organelles. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation: nonspecific immune response
Platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology < 1% Megakaryocytes: red marrow Hemostasis Hemostasis Hemostasis refers to the innate, stepwise body processes that occur following vessel injury, resulting in clot formation and cessation of bleeding. Hemostasis occurs in 2 phases, namely, primary and secondary. Primary hemostasis involves forming a plug that stops the bleeding temporarily. Secondary hemostasis involves the activation of the coagulation cascade. Hemostasis

Indications for Transfusion of Blood Products

Indications for RBC transfusion

  • Individuals with Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange ≤ 7 mg/dL who are symptomatic:
    • Dizzy
    • Weak
    • Short of breath
    • Chest pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
    • Syncope Syncope Syncope is a short-term loss of consciousness and loss of postural stability followed by spontaneous return of consciousness to the previous neurologic baseline without the need for resuscitation. The condition is caused by transient interruption of cerebral blood flow that may be benign or related to a underlying life-threatening condition. Syncope
    • Hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension
  • Postoperative individuals:
    • Hemodynamically stable individuals: Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange ≤ 8 g/dL
    • Presence of symptoms of inadequate oxygen delivery: 
  • Critically ill individuals:
    • Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange ≤ 7 mg/dL 
    • Evidence of tissue hypoxia Tissue hypoxia Sub-optimal oxygen levels in the ambient air of living organisms. Gas Exchange:
  • In individuals with acute coronary syndrome, Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange should be maintained at > 8–9 g/dL.
  • In individuals with traumatic brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification injury, the target Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange should be 7–9 g/dL.
  • These rules do not apply to individuals with active bleeding.

Indications for transfusion of plasma products

  • INR > 1.6 and:
    • Inherited deficiency of anticoagulant factor II, V, X, or XI
    • Prophylactically in individuals on anticoagulant therapy before a procedure 
    • Active bleeding
  • Emergent reversal of warfarin Warfarin An anticoagulant that acts by inhibiting the synthesis of vitamin K-dependent coagulation factors. Warfarin is indicated for the prophylaxis and/or treatment of venous thrombosis and its extension, pulmonary embolism, and atrial fibrillation with embolization. It is also used as an adjunct in the prophylaxis of systemic embolism after myocardial infarction. Warfarin is also used as a rodenticide. Anticoagulants
  • Acute DIC DIC Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is a condition characterized by systemic bodywide activation of the coagulation cascade. This cascade results in both widespread microvascular thrombi contributing to multiple organ dysfunction and consumption of clotting factors and platelets, leading to hemorrhage. Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation
  • Microvascular bleeding during massive transfusion (1:1:1 rule):
    • 1 unit of plasma
    • 1 unit of platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology
    • 1 unit of RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology
  • Hereditary angioedema Angioedema Angioedema is a localized, self-limited (but potentially life-threatening), nonpitting, asymmetrical edema occurring in the deep layers of the skin and mucosal tissue. The common underlying pathophysiology involves inflammatory mediators triggering significant vasodilation and increased capillary permeability. Angioedema: when C1 esterase inhibitor C1 esterase inhibitor An endogenous 105-kda plasma glycoprotein produced primarily by the liver and monocytes. It inhibits a broad spectrum of proteases, including the complement C1r and the complement C1s proteases of the classical complement pathway, and the mannose-binding protein-associated serine proteases. C1-inh-deficient individuals suffer from hereditary angioedema types I and II. Hereditary Angioedema (C1 Esterase Inhibitor Deficiency) unavailable
  • Thrombotic microangiopathy: in combination with plasma exchange Plasma exchange Removal of plasma and replacement with various fluids, e.g., fresh frozen plasma, plasma protein fractions (ppf), albumin preparations, dextran solutions, saline. Used in treatment of autoimmune diseases, immune complex diseases, diseases of excess plasma factors, and other conditions. Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

Indications for transfusion of platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology

  • Platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology:
    • < 50,000/μL: major surgery or invasive procedure, no active bleeding
    • < 100,000/μL: ocular surgery or neurosurgery Neurosurgery Neurosurgery is a specialized field focused on the surgical management of pathologies of the brain, spine, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. General neurosurgery includes cases of trauma and emergencies. There are a number of specialized neurosurgical practices, including oncologic neurosurgery, spinal neurosurgery, and pediatric neurosurgery. Neurosurgery, no active bleeding
    • < 20,000/μL: preparation for central line insertion or lumbar puncture Lumbar Puncture Febrile Infant
    • < 80,000/μL: preparation for epidural anesthesia Anesthesia A state characterized by loss of feeling or sensation. This depression of nerve function is usually the result of pharmacologic action and is induced to allow performance of surgery or other painful procedures. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts
    • < 10,000/μL: prophylactically even in asymptomatic individuals

Indications for transfusion of cryoprecipitate

  • Hemorrhage after cardiac surgery Cardiac surgery Cardiac surgery is the surgical management of cardiac abnormalities and of the great vessels of the thorax. In general terms, surgical intervention of the heart is performed to directly restore adequate pump function, correct inherent structural issues, and reestablish proper blood supply via the coronary circulation. Cardiac Surgery
  • Massive hemorrhage or transfusion 
  • Surgical bleeding
  • DIC DIC Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is a condition characterized by systemic bodywide activation of the coagulation cascade. This cascade results in both widespread microvascular thrombi contributing to multiple organ dysfunction and consumption of clotting factors and platelets, leading to hemorrhage. Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation
  • Fibrinogen Fibrinogen Plasma glycoprotein clotted by thrombin, composed of a dimer of three non-identical pairs of polypeptide chains (alpha, beta, gamma) held together by disulfide bonds. Fibrinogen clotting is a sol-gel change involving complex molecular arrangements: whereas fibrinogen is cleaved by thrombin to form polypeptides a and b, the proteolytic action of other enzymes yields different fibrinogen degradation products. Hemostasis disorders associated with low or dysfunctional fibrinogen Fibrinogen Plasma glycoprotein clotted by thrombin, composed of a dimer of three non-identical pairs of polypeptide chains (alpha, beta, gamma) held together by disulfide bonds. Fibrinogen clotting is a sol-gel change involving complex molecular arrangements: whereas fibrinogen is cleaved by thrombin to form polypeptides a and b, the proteolytic action of other enzymes yields different fibrinogen degradation products. Hemostasis
  • Uremic bleeding
  • Bleeding in individuals with liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy disease
Hereditary angioedema

An individual experiencing acute attacks of hereditary angioedema Angioedema Angioedema is a localized, self-limited (but potentially life-threatening), nonpitting, asymmetrical edema occurring in the deep layers of the skin and mucosal tissue. The common underlying pathophysiology involves inflammatory mediators triggering significant vasodilation and increased capillary permeability. Angioedema

Image: “F1: HAE HAE Hereditary angioedema (HAE), also known as C1 esterase inhibitor (c1-inh) deficiency, is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of severe swelling (angioedema). Hereditary angioedema commonly affects the limbs, face, intestinal tract, and upper airway. Hereditary Angioedema (C1 Esterase Inhibitor Deficiency) patient experiencing HAE HAE Hereditary angioedema (HAE), also known as C1 esterase inhibitor (c1-inh) deficiency, is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of severe swelling (angioedema). Hereditary angioedema commonly affects the limbs, face, intestinal tract, and upper airway. Hereditary Angioedema (C1 Esterase Inhibitor Deficiency) attacks” by Bygum A. et al AL Amyloidosis. License: CC BY 2.0

References

  1. Joint United Kingdom (UK) Blood Transfusion and Tissue Transplantation Services Professional Advisory Committee. (2014). Blood donation. Retrieved July 16, 2021, from http://www.transfusionguidelines.org/transfusion-handbook/3-providing-safe-blood/3-1-blood-donation
  2. Sharma, S., Sharma, P., Tyler, L.N. (2011). Transfusion of blood and blood products: indications and complications. Am Fam Physician 83:719–724. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21404983/
  3. Silbergleid, A.J. (2021). Clinical use of plasma components. UpToDate. Retrieved July 16, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/clinical-use-of-plasma-components
  4. Tobian, A. (2021). Clinical use of cryoprecipitate. UpToDate. Retrieved July 15, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/clinical-use-of-cryoprecipitate
  5. Yaddanapudi, S., Yaddanapudi, L.N. (2014). Indications for blood and blood product transfusion. Indian J Anaesth 58:538–542. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25535414/
  6. Yuan, S., Goldfinger, D. (2021). Platelet transfusion: indications, ordering, and associated risks. UpToDate. Retrieved July 15, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/platelet-transfusion-indications-ordering-and-associated-risks
  7. Thiagarajam, P. (2020). Platelet disorders: overview of platelet disorders. Emedicine. Retrieved August 5, 2021, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/201722-overview

USMLE™ is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB®) and National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME®). MCAT is a registered trademark of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). NCLEX®, NCLEX-RN®, and NCLEX-PN® are registered trademarks of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc (NCSBN®). None of the trademark holders are endorsed by nor affiliated with Lecturio.

Study on the Go

Lecturio Medical complements your studies with evidence-based learning strategies, video lectures, quiz questions, and more – all combined in one easy-to-use resource.

Learn even more with Lecturio:

Complement your med school studies with Lecturio’s all-in-one study companion, delivered with evidence-based learning strategies.

User Reviews

¡Hola!

Esta página está disponible en Español.

Details