Centrifuged donor blood

Centrifuged donor blood

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Credit: ANTONIA REEVE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Centrifuged blood. Laboratory technician holding a bag of centrifuged donor blood. The blood has been spun at high speed in a centrifuge to increase the separation of cellular components (erythrocytes or red blood cells, red) from the liquid component (plasma, yellow). Platelets (thrombocytes) remain suspended in the plasma, but the white blood cells (leucocytes) are usually filtered out before this stage. Plasma is further processed for a variety of products. Platelets (vital for blood clotting) are used to treat platelet deficiencies. Red blood cells carry oxygen, and so are used to treat blood loss and diseases like anaemia. For the next stage in the separation process, see image M532/659.

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