UMEM Educational Pearls

There is more than the standard preparations of plasma, platelets, and PRBCs in the blood bank. Certain patients will require these specialized preparations when a transfusion is required. Here are three to know:

  • Leukoreduced (PRBCs are run through a filter to reduce the total WBC burden)
    • Most of the blood in USA is leukoreduced
    • Should be requested for pre-transplant patients and patients who previously experienced febrile non-hemolytic reactions
  • Irradiated PRBCs (radiation incapacitates donor WBCs)
    • Irradiation prevents the fatal transfusion-associated graft versus host disease, which occurs in patients who are severely immunosuppressed or who are closely related to the blood product donors.
  • Washed RBCs/platelets (washing removes plasma, cell fragments and excess potassium)
    • Washed cells are used for neonates/pediatric patients due to sensitivity to potassium in normal products; in adults, it is used for patients with prior allergic reactions to blood products or IgA deficiency


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