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Whole Blood

Whole blood primarily consists of two types of blood cells:

Red Blood cells are the most common.  They carry oxygen through the body from the lungs via the blood.

  • Donated red blood cells last only six weeks
  •  Uses include:
    • Open heart surgery - needs 6 units
    • Cancer patients - need 10-20 units
    • Aneurysm - needs 6-40 units
    • Auto accident - needs 4-10 units

 Plasma carries nutrients throughout the body.  Straw-colored, it is the largest single component of blood, making up about 55 percent of total blood volume.

  •  Donated plasma can be frozen and stored for a year.
  •  Uses include:
    • Aneurysm - needs 4 units
    • Plasma exchange - needs 10-12 units per treatment
    • Burn victims - need many units.