The blood you have just donated has to undergo a lot of processes before it is transfused to the recipient as whole blood or blood products.
A.Collection of blood:
The blood is collected into a sterile blood collection bag which is mixed with anticoagulants to prevent clotting of blood.
Before sealing the bag, a few samples are taken in test tubes which will be used as test samples
The bag, test tubes and the donor records are identically coded, ideally bar coded to keep track of the donation
B.Processing of blood:
In case of blood which has to be converted to blood products - blood is spun in centrifuges to separate the transfusable components – red cells, platelets, and plasma
The primary components like plasma, can be further manufactured into components such as cryoprecipitate
White blood cells are then removed from the red cells (leukoreduced)
Single donor platelets are leukoreduced and tested for bacteria.
Test tubes are sent for testing.
C.Testing of blood:
Along with the processing of blood, the testing of the test tube samples are taken up and a dozen tests are performed on each unit of donated blood – to establish the blood type and test for infectious diseases like HIV, HCV, HBV etc
If a test result is positive, the unit is discarded and the donor is notified. Test results are confidential and are only shared with the donor, and in serious
cases with the Health Authority.
When test results are received, units suitable for transfusion are labeled and stored
Red Cells are stored in refrigerators at 6ºC for up to 42 days
Platelets are stored at room temperature in agitators for up to five days
Plasma and cryoprecipitate are frozen and stored in freezers for up to one year
E.Distribution for transfusion :
In case of a Centralised facility, suitable blood and blood products are tranferred to hospitals with an authorised blood transfusion facility.