A List of Commonly Used Terms in Blood Banking

Red Blood Cells Low Volume

A red blood cell product that is prepared from a whole blood collection that was lower than “standard” for the given collection container. In the US, two main collection volume targets are used, 450 ml and 500 ml (with the latter more common). The lower limit of a “standard” collection for each bag is -10% (in other words, 450-45=405 for a 450 ml bag, and 500-50=450 for a 500 ml bag). By definition, “low volume” RBC units contain between 66 and 90% of the target volume (that works out to 300 to 404 mL for a 450 mL bag or 333 to 449 mL for a 500 mL bag). Many facilities elect not to use red cells in this situation, as the ratio of anticoagulant/preservative to red cells is altered (and platelets and plasma cannot be made from low volume collections).

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