Principles of blood transfusion

by Paul Moss, PhD

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    In this lecture, I would like to introduce the principles of blood transfusion. We'll see that blood transfusion accomplishes the safe transfer of blood products from one person into another. We'll see that there are strict criteria about who can donate blood and this is done in order to protect the donor and the recipient. We'll also see how because of genetic differences between individuals, blood products need to be matched so that they are given to the right person. We'll see that there are potential complications of blood transfusion, but, fortunately, these are really mostly very rare events these days. Transmission of infection has been a particular concern, but that's now really very well controlled. Now transfusion involves the transfer of blood between individuals and it's really fascinating that blood really was the first tissue that was transferred between different individuals many decades ago. We tend to think of blood transfusion, of transfusion of red cells, a pack of red cells, but there are many types of blood products that are now available. And I will address those during this lecture. A key theme about blood transfusion is to decrease the potential risk of this procedure at all stages of the process. Let us just think about the variety of blood products that are available. I'm sure many of you are blood donors and when you give blood, you typically give around 400 to 440 ml of blood into an anticoagulated bag, something similar to what is seen on the right. Now most blood these days is leucodepleted. What does that mean? leucodeplete (leuco - white, deplete - take out) "take out the white cell"; the blood is essentially filtered to take out the white cells in the donation. Why do you want to do that? Sometimes white cells...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Principles of blood transfusion by Paul Moss, PhD is from the course Hematology: Basics. It contains the following chapters:

    • Principles of Blood Transfusion
    • The ABO and Rh System
    • Complications of Blood Transfusion

    Quiz for lecture

    Test your knowledge with our quiz for lecture Principles of blood transfusion.

    1. A typical blood donation is 1 litre.
    2. Plasma is used to make a frozen product to treat clotting abnormalities.
    3. Platelets can be purified from the buffy coat of single blood donations.
    4. Most blood is leucodepleted to remove white cells.
    5. It is preferable for donors to give blood on a voluntary basis.
    1. ABO
    2. Rh
    3. HPA
    4. Kell
    5. HLA
    1. Toxicity from accumulation of copper
    2. Generation of antibodies against red cell antigens
    3. Risk of bacterial or viral infection
    4. Iron toxicity
    5. Risk of transmission of a viral infection

    Author of lecture Principles of blood transfusion

     Paul Moss, PhD

    Paul Moss, PhD

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