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Irradiated Blood

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Why are some units of blood irradiated? They tend to be given to immunocomprised patients. What does irradiation actively do to the blood, that makes it safer for these patients?

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Solution Summary

The question answers why some units of blood are irradiated. Whether irradiated blood is safe for immunicomprised patients is determined.

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1) Ultraviolet irradiation of blood:

Source: http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/immune/ubi.htm

Procedure: A small amount of blood is removed from the patient (this varies according to weight of the patient). The maximum amount of blood that is withdrawn is 1-1/2 cc per pound weight of the patient and it never exceeds 300 cc. An anticoagulant is added to keep it from clotting. The blood is then irradiated with U.V. light through a window in a closed air-tight circuit. The blood is then returned to the patient.
Once is all is needed for most bacterial infections, however, an acute viral infection could require more treatments.
The ...

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