Blood Separation FAQ

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Blood Separation FAQ







Q. What is the purpose of the gel in a Blood Tube?

A. The gel forms a physical barrier between serum or plasma and blood cells during centrifugation. Gel separator and plasma separator tubes can be centrifuged for 10 minutes at 1,000-1,300 RCF (g) in a swing bucket centrifuge.

Sample tubes compatible with all Hettich Centrifuges:
1) BD Vacutainer® SST™ Serum Separation Tubes
2) BD Vacutainer® PST™ Plasma Separator Tubes


Q. What is the difference between SST™ and PST™ Blood Collection Tubes?

A. SST™ refers to the Serum Separator Tube containing clot activator and serum separator gel. PST™ refers to the Plasma Separator Tube containing lithium heparin and plasma separator gel.

Sample SST™ and PST™ tube compatible with all Hettich Centrifuges:
1) BD Vacutainer® SST™ Serum Separation Tubes
2) BD Vacutainer® PST™ Plasma Separator Tubes


Q. What is the shelf life of blood in a tube or bag?

A. Blood has a shelf life of five (5) days to one (1) year. Platelets must be used within five days of donation. Red blood cells may be stored under refrigeration for a maximum of 42 days. Frozen red blood cells can last up to 10 years, but because of the high cost involved, only a small portion of the blood supply can be frozen. Plasma is generally frozen and must be used within one year. Since blood is perishable, new donations are needed every day.

Q. How are the different components of blood used?

A. Whole Blood is used for open heart Surgery & newborns. Red blood cells are used for Trauma, anemia & surgery. Platelets are used for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Fresh frozen plasma is used for massive transfusions, plasma, burns & cryoprecipitate hemophilia