By Billie Rubin, reporting from the labs of Stanford Blood Center
Each blood component we make has a purpose:
• Red Blood Cells – carry oxygen to the tissues in the body and are commonly used in the treatment of anemia
• Platelets – help the blood to clot and are used in the treatment of leukemia and other forms of cancer
• White Blood Cells – help to fight infection, and aid in the immune process
• Plasma – carries the many parts of the blood through the bloodstream (blood cells, hormones, electrolytes, antibodies, O2, CO2, clotting factors) and helps to maintain blood pressure, provides proteins for blood clotting and balances the levels of sodium and potassium
• Cryoprecipitate AHF – a portion of the plasma that contains clotting factors (like factor VIII) that help to control bleeding
In 2008, 28,658,000 blood components were produced in the U.S. (2009 National Blood Collection and Utilization Survey, AABB). And we were part of that!