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blood bank,site or mobile unit for collecting, processing, typing, and storing whole bloodblood,
fluid pumped by the heart that circulates throughout the body via the arteries, veins, and capillaries (see circulatory system; heart). An adult male of average size normally has about 6 quarts (5.6 liters) of blood.
..... Click the link for more information. , blood plasma and other blood constituents. Most hospitals maintain their own blood reserves, and the American Red Cross provides a nationwide collection and distribution service. The Red Cross collects about 50% of the blood for the nation's blood banks. The Food and Drug AdministrationFood and Drug Administration
(FDA), agency of the Public Health Service division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is charged with protecting public health by ensuring that foods are safe and pure, cosmetics and other chemical substances harmless, and
..... Click the link for more information. licenses blood banks.
Whole blood may be preserved for up to 21 days without losing its usefulness in blood transfusionsblood transfusion,
transfer of blood from one person to another, or from one animal to another of the same species. Transfusions are performed to replace a substantial loss of blood and as supportive treatment in certain diseases and blood disorders.
..... Click the link for more information. ; an anticoagulant is added to prevent clotting. Blood plasma, the fluid portion of the blood, may be frozen and/or dried and stored indefinitely. Blood and donors are screened for hepatitishepatitis
, inflammation of the liver. There are many types of hepatitis. Causes include viruses, toxic chemicals, alcohol consumption, parasites and bacteria, and certain drugs.
..... Click the link for more information. , AIDSAIDS
or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome,
fatal disease caused by a rapidly mutating retrovirus that attacks the immune system and leaves the victim vulnerable to infections, malignancies, and neurological disorders. It was first recognized as a disease in 1981.
..... Click the link for more information. , malariamalaria,
infectious parasitic disease that can be either acute or chronic and is frequently recurrent. Malaria is common in Africa, Central and South America, the Mediterranean countries, Asia, and many of the Pacific islands.
..... Click the link for more information. , and other infectious diseases. The potential risk of acquiring AIDS or hepatitis through transfusions has made it a common practice among patients anticipating surgery to "bank" their own blood before it is needed.
Many blood banks also have facilities for apheresisapheresis
, or hemapheresis
, any procedure in which blood is drawn from a donor or patient and a component (platelets, plasma, or white blood cells) is separated out, the remaining blood components being returned to the body.
..... Click the link for more information. , bone marrow donations, and related procedures. Some centers save umbilical cord blood (blood that is especially rich in stem cellsstem cells,
unspecialized human or animal cells that can produce mature specialized body cells and at the same time replicate themselves. Embryonic stem cells are derived from a blastocyst (the blastula typical of placental mammals; see embryo), which is very young embryo that
..... Click the link for more information. ) for use in treatments; however, the cost of preparing and storing such blood is much higher than that of normal blood. Sometimes parents store their newborn's cord blood at a private cord blood bank in case the child has need of it, but the use of one own's cord blood is ineffective or undesirable in many diseases where such blood is used as a treatment.
in the USSR, a medical establishment that supervises medical facilities in the processing and transfusion of blood. Blood banks establish donor networks, keep records on and perform medical examinations of donors, and process and store blood and blood preparations and substitutes (and sometimes bone marrow) and distribute them to hospitals and clinics. Together with organizations of the Union of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies of the USSR, blood banks conduct active educational and organizational work to attract people into becoming donors (for example, donor’s days are organized). Blood banks promote the use of new techniques of blood transfusion and the use of new blood preparations and substitutes in hospitals and clinics. They also train physicians and paramedics and supervise the blood-transfusion work performed in hospitals and clinics.
Blood banks are under the jurisdiction of corresponding public-health departments and supervised by institutes of blood transfusion on procedures and organizational matters.