Backgrounder: Whole Blood

Key Facts

  • Whole blood is blood that contains red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma. A whole blood donation is divided into components, such as red blood cells and platelets that are used to treat different types of patient needs.
  • All whole blood donations undergo leukoreduction to remove white blood cells, which reduces the risk of serious immune reactions that recipients may have when exposed to donor white cells.
  • The volume of a single whole blood donation is about 480 ml or less than 10 percent of a donor’s total blood volume.