Blood Facts

The Patient’s Guide to Transfusions 

A tri-fold brochure prepared by the California Department of Health Services in partnership with the Medical Technical Advisory Committee of the Blood Centers of California. This brochure provides consumers with available options for blood transfusions (Paul Gann Blood Safety Act, H&S § 1645). The Medical Board of California provides this publication in bulk. There is no charge for this brochure. Requests can be faxed to (916) 263-2479 and copies are available in bundles of 50.

The Patient’s Guide to Transfusions – English Version
The Patient’s Guide to Transfusions – Spanish Version

One pint of whole blood weighs approximately one pound.

Blood is comprised of red cells, plasma and platelets

We can usually get up to four components from one pint of whole blood – red blood cells, plasma, platelets, and cryoprecipitate anti-hemophilic factor (AHF).

Blood Centers prepare and transfuse blood components for life-saving transfusions:

  • Red blood cells
  • Plasma
  • Platelets and
  • Cryoprecipitate anti-hemophilic factor (AHF)

Frozen plasma components can be stored for up to one year

Someone needs a blood transfusion every three seconds which means approximately 38,000 units of blood are used daily in the US

America’s Blood Centers

America’s Blood Centers’ members subscribe to a community-based blood banking philosophy. That means community donors know that the blood they give stays in that community first – helping family members, friends and neighbors. Any excess supply is shared with other communities who need it most.

California Blood Bank Society

California Blood Bank Society supports health care professionals involved in Transfusion Medicine.


AABB advances the practice and standards of transfusion medicine and cellular therapies to optimize patient and donor care and safety.

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