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BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 01 September 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:0409322

Blood products are commonly used in hospital and especially in theatre. Their use is not without risk and a good understanding of the subject is essential for safe practice. In the grid below, find terms relating to blood transfusion by moving from letter to adjacent letter.


Although whole blood is collected from donors, it is no longer transfused into patients. Instead, blood is separated into its component parts and these parts are issued as needed.

Blood products

Red cell products These are given as packed red blood cells that are spun down and then resuspended in an artificial solution that is designed to keep them in optimal condition for as long as possible. This solution contains saline, adenine and glucose (SAG). Each unit contains approximately 300 mL with a haematocrit concentration of 50-70%. One unit of packed red blood cells will usually increase the haemoglobin level by approximately 1 g. Packed red blood cells have to be crossmatched before use. Universal donor, O-negative blood can be used in emergency situations.

Clotting factors

Clotting factors are available as fresh frozen plasma (FFP), which has to be thawed before use. FFP contains …

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