Frozen Red Blood Cells

  • Yuxuan Wang
  • Martin A. SchreiberEmail author


Cryopreservation of red blood cells (RBCs) is performed by the addition of glycerol and can be frozen for up to 37 years. Prior to use, they must be thawed and the glycerol removed. Interest in frozen RBCs reached its height in the 1960s and 1970s due to the 21-day shelf life of liquid RBCs, as they proved to be a viable alternative to liquid RBCs in the event of emergencies, have less hepatitis infections, and was useful in the preservation of rare blood types. Clinical studies have shown frozen RBCs to have less pro-inflammatory molecules. Enthusiasm in frozen RBCs began to dwindle after the doubling of liquid RBC storage time to 42 days and improved screening of donor blood. However, frozen RBCs still play an important role for rare blood storage and as a backup in times of emergencies.


Frozen red blood cells Resuscitation Trauma Blood transfusions Cryopreservation Glycerolization Disaster management Blood bank Rare blood Red blood cell storage lesion 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Trauma, Critical Care, and Acute Care SurgeryOregon Health and Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA

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