Red Blood Cells

Red blood cell units are the most requested transfusion product worldwide


PRBC are manufactured by removing the majority of plasma from whole blood


Whole blood is collected

Components separated within 5hrs

(removal of most plasma to produce an average hematocrit of 70%)

Heavy and light spin in centrifuge

Addition of SAGM (saline, adenine, glucose, mannitol)


Each unit contains: 200ml RBC, 70ml plasma, 100ml additive ie SAGM


PRBC can be phenotyped, washed, CMV-seronegative, frozen, irradiated


2-6 C in a designated blood fridge that complies with Australian Standards (AS3864)

Shelf life of 42 days


Symptomatic anaemia

Hb < 100% and high risk myocardial ischaemia

Major active bleeding

Mechanism of Action

One unit will raise the haemaglobin concentration 10g/L and Hct 3% (average sized adult)