Blood Storage


Blood banks store different types of blood products. Each specific unit of blood is labeled by type, positive or negative, and what blood product it is. Each blood product has a different temperature and storage expiration date. Because these temperatures are very specific, even a short period of storage outside of the correct range could be detrimental to someone’s life. Red blood cells can be stored for about 6 weeks. The temperature at which red blood cells, and whole blood is stored is 33.8°F- 42.8°F. Platelets can last for 1-2 weeks, but in the  United States they are only stored for 5 days. Platelets are stored at 68°F-75.2°F. Plasma can be stored at low temperatures for a year at -13°F or below. Once thawed, plasma can be stored for 5 days at about 34°F-40°F.

Recently studies have had a hard time determining withier “old “blood can lead to transfusion complications. Due to the controversy, most storage of blood facilities have created a system call FIFO. “First In First Out” is a rotational system used for blood storage. The system has blood dated and labeled to ensure older blood is not kept past its expiration date. This blood management and storage system is of vital importance to modern medicine. Due to the many variations of blood products, preservation temperatures, and shelf lives we are still engineering ways to perfect blood storage systems.