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Transportation of Blood and Blood Components
6. Transportation of Blood and Blood Components
Blood units or blood components may need to be transported either within the hospital complex or from one centre to the other. On receiving the blood units, these should be grossly checked for any sign of deterioration or haemolysis either due to wide temperature variation or due to bacterial infection. Look for any
(1) leakage or breakage
(2) any change in colour of plasma
(3) change in colour of red cells
(4) any clots or abnormal mass
(5) any foul smell
(6) any change in interface between cell and plasma as a fuzzy interface suggess haemolysis
Blood returned to blood bank
If a unit is being returned to the blood bank, note the time of arrival, look for any visible signs of haemolysis/contamination, leakage and check the temperature by hand. If the unit has any sign of opening or of haemolysis and had been out of refrigerator for more than two hours, do not use the blood unit for therapeutic purposes.
TransportatIon of frozen blood components
As FYIII and FV are heat labile coagulation factors, fresh frozen plasma meant to supplement FYIII and F’) levels in a patient with bleeding manifestation has to be stored and transported at 30°C or lower.
The temperature of plasma freezer must be checked twice a day and must be recorded. If temperature shows a wide fluctuation above - 200C, the storage freezer must be checked urgently. Fresh frozen plasma once thawed must be transfused within 4 hours and should not be refrozen. It should be discarded if not used.
Fresh frozen plasma or frozen plasma should be transported in light temperature proof containers with plenty of ice packs and should be placed in cardboard boxes to prevent the adjacent bags from getting frozen on the surface of the other bag.
Thawing of plasma
Once a request for fresh frozen plasma is received in the blood bank, the frozen plasma should be thawed as follows:
1. Place the plasma unit wrapped in a plastic overwrap in a temperature controlled waterbath strictly maintained at 37°C. The ports of the bag should always be above the water level in the water bath. The water in the waterbath must be clean and frequently changed to prevent bacterial or fungal growth.
2. If there is delay in issue of thawed plasma, the bag may be kept for few hours at 2-8°C till transfused.
Transportation of platelet concentrate
All efforts must be made to ensure that platelets (and granulocyte) concentrates are maintained at room temeprature i.e. between 20-24°C during transportation. A well-insulated container without added ice is often sufficient. If the ambient temperature is hgih and the distance is great, transportation should be done with special coolant pouches that will maintain a temperature around 20°-24°C.
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