TIM BEDDOW / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TIM BEDDOW / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Technician removes bags of frozen blood from a freezer bank. Freezing, or cryo- preservation, is a means of storing blood for future use in transfusions. Generally, 500ml of blood is drawn from the donor into a plastic bag containing anticoagulant to prevent the blood from clotting. The blood is classified according to type, tested for blood-borne diseases, and stored either whole or separated into its different components. Freezing and controlled thawing of blood is also used to produce cryoprecipitates, an example of which is the residue rich in Factor VIII, the clotting agent used to control bleeding in haemophilia.
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