Improved techniques and better understanding of indications for blood transfusions have brought a new era of transfusion therapy. Technical advances culminating in the aseptic collection of blood into a sterile closed system1 containing maximally effective red blood cell preserving solutions have greatly simplified the procedure of blood transfusion.
The immediate availability of blood at blood banks has led to an increased use of blood. This year it is estimated that 3 million transfusions will be given for routine civilian needs. Obviously, there must be no waste of blood.
Blood has two major components: plasma and red blood cells. Often there are contraindications to the use of both components simultaneously, and the indication is for the transfusion of a single component. The proper use of the major components of blood, together or separately as indicated, will insure that blood will not be wasted and that the estimated 3 million or
Smith DW, Elliott J. RED BLOOD CELL SUSPENSION TRANSFUSIONS. JAMA. 1951;147(8):737–740. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670250029008