Most people will require a blood transfusion at some point in their lives. To meet patient needs for blood and blood components, the Blood Center requires more than 2,000 donations from volunteer blood donors every week. Each year those donations are used to help more than 200,000 patients in their recovery from illness or injury.
Each donation of whole blood can be used to produce as many as four different products that can be transfused to patients. How can this be true? After the donation, blood is separated into its components (red blood cells, platelets and plasma) and fourth product, cryoprecipitate, can be processed from the plasma. White blood cells are removed through a process called leukoreduction (pictured, at top right).
Examples (quantities are estimated)