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Transfusion Safety: Cell Counters & Leukoreduction | Transfusion, Cell counters, Saftey

What is blood cell counters?

A blood cell counter is used in blood donation to determine the count and types of blood cells in a donor's blood sample. The test is performed to ensure that the blood is safe for transfusion and to determine which blood components can be used.

There are three reasons why we need to use a blood cell counter for the blood transfusion.

  1. Ensuring the safety of blood transfusion

  2. Identifying the blood components to be used

  3. Monitoring the health of blood donors

Most importantly, the first reason, "Ensuring the safety of blood tranfusion", needs to be confirmed in order to identify any abnormal blood cell counts or types, which may indicate the presence of certain diseases or conditions. It can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases through blood transfusions.

We have our healthy blood. Can we make a transfusion rightaway?

A safely check blood is being transfused to the patient
A safely check blood is being transfused to the patient

The answer is no. The white blood cells from the donated blood needs to be removed. This step is called, leukoreduction. If you have not heard about white blood cell, here is the brief explanation:

White blood cells, also known as leukocytes, are essential part of the immune system. It has several roles to play, but there are three distinctive reasons.

  1. Fights back against harmful bacteria

  2. Creates an effective antibodies against bacteria and viruses

  3. Fights against malignant disease

It sounds like that they are good for immunisation. However, they can cause harm to a person who is being transfused with the donated blood. It may can trigger an immune response, leading to fever, chills, or other symptoms. On top of that, leuko reduction is a beneficial step to improve the shelf life of donated blood by reducing the number of bacteria which may grow during the storage.

How does the leukoreduction work for safety issue?

Leukoreduction is a process of removing white blood cells to prevent transfusion-related reactions and complications, such as fever, allergic reactions, and infections. The step can be achieved by differeent methods, including filtration and sedimentation.


The most common method which passes the blood through a filter with small pore (1 to 5 microns) which traps the white blood cells while allowing the other components to pass through. The average size of white blood cell is 7 to 20 micrometers in diameter. The trap is mainly made of nylon, polyester, or polyurethane.


It involves the centrifugation to separate the white blood cells form the other components of the blood products. This process is not common.

Leukoreduction has been done successfully, can we do the blood transfusion?

Safely leukoreduced blood is transfused to the patient
Safely leukoreduced blood is transfused to the patient

The leukoreduced blood can be stored up to 35 to 42 days (Some factors may affect the quality and shelf life of leukoreduced blood products).

After the luekoreduction process, it is essential to confirm which the white blood cell counts has been sufficiently reduced to prevent any adverse ractions in transfusion recipients. A blood cell counter allows for accurate and precise quantification of residual white blood cells, providing crucial information for quality control purposes. Without such tools, it would be difficult to ensure the safety and efficacy of blood products used in transfusion medicine.

In addition to the accuracy and precision of the white blood cell count, the speed of sample processing is also a critical factor in blood quality control. With the high volume of blood inquiries and the time-sensitive nature of transfusion medicine, health professionals require efficient and effective tools that can provide rapid results.



Residual Leukocyte Counter


Residual White Blood Cell Counter

Link to NanoEntek HomePage | A company manufacturing In-Vitro Diagnostics and cell analysis instrument


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