blood bank


blood bank
1. a place where blood or blood plasma is collected, processed, stored, and distributed.
2. such a supply of blood or blood plasma.
[1935-40]

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Organization that collects, stores, processes, and supplies blood.

Most blood donations are separated into components, which can be frozen and stored longer than whole blood and used by multiple patients. In hemapheresis, large amounts of one component can be separated from a single donor's blood and the rest returned to the donor. Before World War I, a physician had to find a compatible donor and give an immediate blood transfusion. Safe storage of blood and its components made possible innovations such as heart-lung machines.

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      organization that collects, stores, processes, and transfuses blood. During World War I it was demonstrated that stored blood could safely be used, allowing for the development of the first blood bank in 1932. Before the first blood banks came into operation, a physician determined the blood types of the patient's relatives and friends until the proper type was found, performed the crossmatch, bled the donor, and gave the transfusion (blood transfusion) to the patient. In the 1940s the discovery of many blood types and of several crossmatching techniques led to the rapid development of blood banking as a specialized field and to a gradual shift of responsibility for the technical aspects of transfusion from practicing physicians to technicians and clinical pathologists. The practicality of storing fresh blood and blood components for future needs made possible such innovations as artificial kidneys, heart-lung pumps for open-heart surgery, and exchange transfusions for infants with erythroblastosis fetalis.

      Whole blood is donated and stored in units of about 450 ml (slightly less than one pint). Whole blood can be stored only for a limited time, but various components (e.g., red blood cells and plasma) can be frozen and stored for a year or longer. Therefore, most blood donations are separated and stored as components by the blood bank. These components include platelets (platelet) to control bleeding; concentrated red blood cells (erythrocyte) to correct anemia; and plasma fractions, such as fibrinogen to aid clotting, immune globulins to prevent and treat a number of infectious diseases, and serum albumin to augment the blood volume in cases of shock. Thus, it is possible to serve the varying needs of five or more patients with a single blood donation.

      Despite such replacement programs, many blood banks face continual problems in obtaining sufficient donations. The chronic shortage of donors has been alleviated somewhat by the development of apheresis, a technique by which only a desired blood component is taken from the donor's blood, with the remaining fluid and blood cells immediately transfused back into the donor. This technique allows the collection of large amounts of a particular component, such as platelets, from a single donor.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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