A blood bank is a place where blood is collected from donors, typed, separated into components, kept, and prepared for transfusion to recipients. A blood bank can be an individual free-standing facility or part of a bigger laboratory in a hospital.
What is blood banking?
Blood banking is the process that takes place in the laboratory to make sure that donated blood is safe before they are used in blood transfusions and other clinical procedures. Blood banking involves typing the blood for transfusion and testing for infectious diseases.
Who are the blood donors?
Many blood donors are volunteers, but sometimes, a patient may wish to donate blood a couple of weeks before undergoing surgery, so that his or her blood is readily available in case of a blood transfusion. The case of donating blood for oneself is called an autologous donation. Volunteer blood donors must have certain criteria, including the following:
· Must not be less than 16 years of age, or in accordance with state law
· Must be in good health
· Must weigh not less than 110 pounds
· Must pass the physical and health history test given before donation
Some states allow people younger than 16 or 17 years to donate blood, with parental acknowledgment.
What tests are done in blood banking?
A certain group of standard tests are done in the lab immediately after blood is donated, including, but not limited to, the following:
Typing: ABO group (blood type)
Rh typing (positive or negative antigen)
Screening for any unexpected red blood cell antibodies that may cause issues in the recipient
Screening for recent or past infections, including
Hepatitis viruses B and C
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
Human T-lymphotropic viruses (HTLV) I and II
West Nile virus
Irradiation to blood cells is carried out to disable any T-lymphocytes present in the donated blood. (T-lymphocytes can start a reaction when transfused, but can also cause graft-versus-host issues with repeated exposure to foreign cells.)
Leukocyte-reduced blood has been filtered to take away the white blood cells that contain antibodies that can lead to fevers in the recipient of the transfusion. (These antibodies, with repeated transfusions, can also raise a recipient's risk of reactions to subsequent transfusions.)
What are the blood types?
· O Rh-positive
· A Rh-positive
· B Rh-positive
· O Rh-negative
· A Rh-negative
· AB Rh-positive
· B Rh-negative
· AB Rh-negative
What are the components of blood?
While blood, or any of its components, may be transferred, each component serves a lot of functions, including the following:
Red blood cells. These cells transport oxygen to the tissues in the body and are mainly used in the treatment of anaemia.
Platelets. They assist the blood to clot and are used in the cure of leukaemia and other types of cancer.
White blood cells. These cells help to combat infection, and aid in the immune functions.
Plasma. The watery, liquid component of the blood in which the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are suspended. Plasma is required to transport the many parts of the blood through the bloodstream. Plasma serves many functions, including the following:
Helps to balance blood pressure
Supplies proteins for blood clotting
Maintains the levels of sodium and potassium
Cryoprecipitate AHF. The part of the plasma that contains clotting factors that aid in controlling bleeding.
Albumin, immune globulins, and clotting factor concentrates may also be divided and processed for transfusions.
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