The use of modern additive solutions has allowed blood services to store red blood cells for transfusion for extended periods, commonly up to 42 days. To minimize red blood cell wastage, it is common practice for hospital blood services to issue the oldest compatible red cell unit available for transfusion as part of routine inventory management. During storage, red blood cells and their storage medium undergo numerous structural, biochemical, and metabolic changes, collectively referred to as the storage lesion. These are mostly evident after the second week of storage. Understanding of how red blood cells change during storage continues to evolve.1,2
McQuilten ZK, Cooper DJ. Age of Red Blood Cells for Transfusion in Critically Ill Pediatric Patients. JAMA. 2019;322(22):2175–2176. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.17476
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