ROBERT G. WESTPHAL, M.D.
The availability of the various blood components is directly related to the use of packed red blood cells (RBCs). The irrational use of whole blood seriously threatens the supply of such components as plasma protein fraction, serum albumin, cryoprecipitate and other antihemophilic concentrates, platelet concentrates, and fibrinogen. These components have specific, and often life-saving, indications and are safer to use than whole blood. Most patients who require transfusion need only RBCs; in fact, RBCs are safer because there is less volume, less acid, less NH3 and K+, less allergenic protein, and, perhaps, a lesser amount of hepatitis antigen given to the patient. This may be particularly important for patients with altered hepatic, renal, or cardiovascular function.
WESTPHAL RG. Rational Alternatives to the Use of Whole Blood. Ann Intern Med. ;76:987–990. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-76-6-987
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1972;76(6):987-990.
Cardiology, Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Liver Disease, Nephrology.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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