All donated blood will be used as blood or for medical products. Blood products are needed in the treatment of surgical patients, accident victims, cancer patients and premature babies, for example. An accident patient may need a great amount of various blood components. A newborn baby may require blood replacement, whereby reconstituted whole blood consisting of all the various blood components is prepared for him or her. Haemophiliacs need medications produced from plasma. Red blood cells are used in surgery, although developments in surgical techniques over the past few years have reduced the need for such blood cells.
Platelet products for cancer patients
Donated platelets or thrombocytes are needed to prevent and treat bleeding. Platelets are given to patients suffering from leukaemia whose own bone marrow does not produce platelets due to heavy cancer treatments. They can also be given to surgical patients and accident victims in connection with major bleeding.
Since platelets form only a small portion of blood, the platelet volume collected from one whole blood donor is not enough for a complete product. Each platelet product given to a patient needs platelets from four donors with the same blood group. Platelets are separately collected at the Blood Service Centre in Kivihaka , Helsinki. Read more about donating platelets.