Glossary

Please click on a term below to view the definition:

Allogeneic
Blood from someone else that matches yours, usually from a volunteer blood donor. Also referred to as homologous blood.
Alloimmunization
The process of making an antibody against a foreign antigen.
Anemia
A pathological deficiency in the oxygen-carrying component of the blood, measured in unit volume concentrations of hemoglobin, red blood cell volume, or red blood cell number.
Antibody
Proteins that react with antigens on red blood cells and may destroy transfused red blood cells.
Anticoagulant
A substance that prevents the clotting or thickening of blood.
Antigen
A substance on the surface of red blood cells that elicits an immune response when transfused into a patient who lacks that antigen.
Apheresis
A procedure where whole blood is removed from the body and a desired component is retained, while the remainder of the blood is returned to the donor. Apheresis procedures normally take 45-90 minutes.
Aplastic Anemia
An anemia caused by deficient red blood cell production by the bone marrow.
Autoimmune
The process of making antibodies against one's self (one's intrinsic antigens).
Autologous Donation
Blood drawn from an individual prior to surgery and given back to the same individual when and if a need for transfusion arises.
Automated Blood Component Collection
A special kind of apheresis donation, Automated Blood Component (ABC) Collection allows donors to give only those blood components need for patient transfusions. The needed blood components are separated while the donor is in the chair. ABC collection can yield all three components (red cells, platelets, and plasma) or a combination (such as red cells and platelets) from just one donor.
Automated Red Cell Collection
Automated Red Cell Collection (2RBC) allows the donor to give two units of red blood cells, instead of just one. The process separates your blood into its components while it is being drawn. Because only red blood cells are being collected, there will enough for two red cell transfusions. The remaining components are returned to the donor.
Blood Drive Captains
Enthusiastic representatives of an organization that publicize the blood drive and recruit donors.
Blood Type
Everyone’s blood falls into one of four groups, or types: A, B, AB or O. The type depends on the presence or absence of certain substances on red blood cells. Blood types are inherited.
Bone Marrow
The soft tissue located in the cavities of bones which is responsible for blood cell and platelet production.
Cholesterol
A soft, fat-like substance found naturally in the body.
CMV (Cytomegalo Virus)
A virus that may cause flu-like symptoms in the general population, but may cause severe disease in premature babies, bone marrow transplant recipients, and AIDS patients.
Component
A "part" of blood. Blood is made up of different "parts" or components: red blood cells, plasma, platelets and several types of white blood cells. Each component has its own job to do. We can separate blood into components so patients can be transfused only with what they need.
Cross match
To find similarities between a patient’s blood and a donor’s blood using laboratory tests.
Directed Donation
A donation made by a blood donor who wishes his or her unit of blood to go to a specific patient.
Donate / donation
To give blood. A blood donation is about one pint. Specific components, such as plasma or platelets can also be donated.
Engraftment
The process by which transplanted or transfused cells (for example, after a bone marrow transplant) begin to grow and reproduce themselves within the recipient.
Ethnic
Pertaining to people with origins from different parts of the world.
Factor XIII
A clotting factor that stabilizes blood clots.
Factor VIII-Rich Cryoprecipitate
Contains the clotting factor used to control bleeding in hemophiliacs.
Fibrinogen
A protein involved in coagulation. Fibrinogen reacts with other molecules to produce blood clots.
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)
A reaction where transplanted or transfused cells attack the recipient's own cells.
Granulocytes
A type of white blood cell that attacks and destroys foreign substances.
Hematocrit
A measure of the amount of red blood cells in your body.
Hematologic
Of the blood.
Hematologist
A blood specialist.
Hemoglobin
The molecule in the red blood cell that carries oxygen. Hemoglobin combines with oxygen in the lungs and releases it in the tissues. It is what makes blood red.
Hemostasis
The process of clotting.
Hepatitis
Inflammation of the liver, caused by infectious or toxic agents and characterized by jaundice, fever, liver enlargement, and abdominal pain.
HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) type
Antigens present on most cells of the body which are unique to the individual. It may be considered to be the individual’s genetic fingerprint.
HTLV
A virus that may cause blood or nerve disease.
Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
An autoimmune disease where the body makes antibodies against its own platelets.
Immunosuppressed
A condition brought about by disease or chemotherapy where the individual is highly susceptible to infection.
Irradiated red blood cells
Red blood cells treated with radiation to inactivate white blood cells which may cause graft-versus-host disease.
Leukocyte
Another term for a white blood cell.
Leukocyte-reduced blood components
Prevent transfusions reactions caused by white cells contaminating red cell and platelet preparations and may reduce the likelihood of certain infections.
Leukoreduced
Removal of white blood cells from products in order to prevent certain transfusion reactions such as fever, chills, and alloimmunization.
Lymphocytes
A leukocyte that directs the formation of antibodies, and that has memory.
Metabolic
Pertaining to all chemical functions within the body.
Neoplastic disease
Another term for cancer.
Neurologic
Refers to the brain, spinal cord, and nerves.
Nonhemolytic
Refers to transfusion reactions where the red blood cell is not destroyed.
Oncologic
A term for the study of cancer.
Pathologic
A term for disease.
Perioperative Autologous Transfusions (PAT)
The recovery, washing and reinfusion of a patient's own blood, which has been lost, during and after surgery in order to reduce the need for transfusions.
Peripheral stem cell collection and processing
The removal, separation and freezing of peripheral blood or marrow, which contain stem cells, for later reinfusion to restore a patient's blood manufacturing capability after radiation or chemotherapy.
Plasma
Plasma is 92% water, 7% protein and 1% minerals. Plasma is the source of gamma globulin, albumin and clotting factors. Plasma is used to treat clotting disorders, burn victims and shock. When frozen, plasma lasts one year.
Plateletpheresis
An apheresis procedure where platelets are collected.
Platelets
Colorless cells whose main function is to control bleeding. Platelets are essential to normal blood clotting. They can be wiped out during treatment for cancer, leukemia, aplastic anemia and other diseases. They have a very short life span; only 5 days.
Red Cells
Red cells transport oxygen to body cells and remove carbon dioxide. Red cells contain iron in the hemoglobin. Red cells can be kept for 35-42 days.
Red Cell Reference Laboratory
Used to identify and cross-match rare blood groups and components for hospitals, and then supply those units.
Rh
The Rh factor is an inherited blood group on red blood cells like the ABO blood types. About 85% of the people in this country have it. Those who have it are "Rh-positive," those who don't are "Rh-negative."
Saline
Salt water.
Sickle cell disease
A disease in which the affected person makes an abnormal hemoglobin. Sickle cell disease is inherited.
Therapeutic apheresis
Process which separates certain blood components from a patient so that hospitals can either replace or treat them before reinfusion.
Transfusion
Replacing blood or blood components a body has lost in surgery, through an accident, or as a result of medical treatment such as chemotherapy.
Thrombocytopenia
A low platelet count.
Universal donor
A person who has blood type O negative and is therefore able to serve as a donor to a person of any other blood group in the ABO system.
Universal recipient
A person who has blood type AB positive and is therefore able to receive blood from any other group in the ABO system.
Warfarin effect
Refers to the effect of thinning of the blood by a medication known as warfarin or coumadin.
White Cells (Leukocytes)
The protective cells in the bloodstream. They attack bacteria by squeezing through capillary walls to reach the area of infection.
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