Blood may be transfused as ‘whole blood’ or as one of its many components. Up to four components may be derived from one unit of blood:
- red blood cells
- cryoprecipitated antihemophilic factor (AHF)
Since patients seldom require all of the components of whole blood, it makes sense to transfuse only that portion of blood needed by the patient for a specific condition or disease. This treatment, referred to as “blood component therapy,” allows several patients to benefit from one unit of donated whole blood.