Red blood cell (RBC) transfusions are given to raise the hemoglobin level in patients with anemia or to replace losses after acute bleeding episodes. Storage of red cells has been enhanced by the development of preservative solutions; in addition, several types of components are available for use in selected circumstances to minimize complications. This topic review will discuss the storage and use of these various preparations.
The administration of RBC transfusions in adults, including issues of storage, specialized modifications, and infusion, is discussed here. Indications for RBC transfusion, transfusion of RBCs in infants and children, and transfusion complications are discussed separately.
●(See "Indications and hemoglobin thresholds for red blood cell transfusion in the adult".)
●(See "Massive blood transfusion".)
●(See "Red blood cell transfusion in infants and children: Indications".)