JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood bag containing platelets. Blood bags with blood products derived from donated blood. At front is a bag of platelets (yellow) in the process of being filled by apheresis from a blood donor. The bag at back (red) contains a waste product of plasma with some red blood cells which may be returned to the patient. Platelets play an important role in normal blood clotting. Platelet donations are given to leukaemia patients who cannot produce enough platelets of their own. By a process called apheresis, blood is collected from a patient's arm and centrifuged. The red cells are returned to the donor, while platelets with some plasma are collected in a sterile blood bag.
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