Table of Contents
Journal of Blood Transfusion
Volume 2016, Article ID 4860284, 28 pages
Review Article

Quality Assessment of Established and Emerging Blood Components for Transfusion

1Centre for Innovation, Canadian Blood Services, Edmonton, AB, Canada
2Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
3Research and Development, Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Sydney, NSW, Australia
4Centre for Innovation, Canadian Blood Services, Hamilton, ON, Canada
5Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Received 31 August 2016; Accepted 2 November 2016

Academic Editor: Maria Rios

Copyright © 2016 Jason P. Acker et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Blood is donated either as whole blood, with subsequent component processing, or through the use of apheresis devices that extract one or more components and return the rest of the donation to the donor. Blood component therapy supplanted whole blood transfusion in industrialized countries in the middle of the twentieth century and remains the standard of care for the majority of patients receiving a transfusion. Traditionally, blood has been processed into three main blood products: red blood cell concentrates; platelet concentrates; and transfusable plasma. Ensuring that these products are of high quality and that they deliver their intended benefits to patients throughout their shelf-life is a complex task. Further complexity has been added with the development of products stored under nonstandard conditions or subjected to additional manufacturing steps (e.g., cryopreserved platelets, irradiated red cells, and lyophilized plasma). Here we review established and emerging methodologies for assessing blood product quality and address controversies and uncertainties in this thriving and active field of investigation.