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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 Preview

    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 The maximum amount of blood that is withdrawn is 1-1/2 cc per pound weight of the patient and it never exceeds 300 cc.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 ...

    Solution Summary

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