Blood is comprised of several components. These components may be transfused separately or together to treat various conditions. Each donation of whole blood is separated into four main components:
Blood | Plasma | Platelets
- Red Blood Cells carry oxygen to tissues and are responsible for removal of carbon dioxide through the lungs.
- White Blood Cells protect the body from infection, however, they often carry viruses and bacteria. This is why these cells are removed in a process called leukoreduction to protect recipients from side-effects.
- Platelets provide the basis for clotting that helps control bleeding.
- Plasma is a liquid containing many of the body’s proteins that help fight infection and help clotting. It distributes nutrients to tissues and transports waste products to the lungs, liver and kidneys, which expel them. Plasmapheresis yields twice as much plasma as a whole blood donation.