Prescribing & Sourcing for Blood Products

Clinicians use blood products for different reasons:

Concentrated red blood cells (CRCs)

CRC transfusions are used to treat excessive bleeding and to improve oxygen delivery to body tissues. CRCs are transfused for acute sickle cell crisis (to prevent stroke), or acute blood loss. Patients with symptomatic anemia are transfused with CRCs if they cannot function without treating the anemia. Symptoms of anemia may include fatigue, weakness, dizziness, reduced exercise tolerance, shortness of breath, changes in mental status, muscle cramps, and severe congestive heart failure.

Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP)

FFP infusion can be used for reversal of anticoagulant effects. Plasma transfusion is recommended in patients with active bleeding or before an invasive procedure or surgery if a patient has been anticoagulated.


Platelet transfusion may be indicated to prevent hemorrhage in patients with platelet function defects.


Cryoprecipitate is prepared by thawing FFP and collecting the precipitate. Cryoprecipitate is used in a medical situation, which most often occurs in the setting of massive hemorrhage. Some of the indications for transfusion of cryoprecipitate include:

  • Hemorrhage after cardiac surgery
  • Massive hemorrhage or transfusion
  • Surgical bleeding
What do clinicians use blood and blood products for?

A blood product is any therapeutic substance derived from donated blood, including whole blood and other blood components for transfusion, and plasma-derived medicinal products.
Products derived from donated blood and plasma play a critical role in our healthcare system. Blood products contribute to improving and saving millions of lives every year, as they:

  • address child mortality and maternal health;
  • dramatically improve the life expectancy and quality of life of patients suffering from life-threatening inherited disorders, such as haemophilia and immune deficiency, and acquired conditions such as cancer; and
  • support complex medical and surgical procedures.
How clinicians get blood products to transfuse?

Through Hospital Blood Banks

Blood Centres issue processed blood and blood products to hospital blood banks for cross matching and issuing to patients in hospitals.

Hospital blood banks manage their blood product stocks also in order to be able to meet the constant demand for transfusion in their respective hospitals.

How Hospital Blood Banks get blood products

The Hospital Blood Bank sends an advanced notice to the Blood Centre via telephone, usually 48-72 hours before arrival for routine cases.

Emergency requests are made within working hours.

Approved requests are supplied based on, the available stock, the facility’s disclosed stock and the request made.