The Canadian Animal Blood Bank advocates for the practice of blood component therapy. This practice allows for targeted patient treatment and appropriate allocation of blood products. With this practice, a single donation can produce 4 unique products and help more animals in need.
What is Component Therapy?
Component therapy is a targeted approach to transfusion therapy by using the blood component best suited to replace a specific blood component deficiency caused by a particular illness or condition, versus the general application of whole blood.
For example, a euvolemic patient with symptomatic anaemia and no underlying coagulopathy needs a product that will increase their oxygen-carrying capacity. The best-suited product for this patient would be packed red blood cells (PRBCs). By administering whole blood, we would be doubling the total volume administered to this patient in order to transfuse the same volume of red blood cells. This would put our euvolemic patient at greater risk of transfusion-associated circulatory overload (TACO). There is also the consideration that this patient could be exposed to plasma antibodies from a whole blood transfusion.
What About Conditions Requiring All Components?
Patients suffering from acute hemorrhage can receive PRBCs and fresh frozen plasma (FFP) to replace the specific components the patient has lost.