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Fractions of Blood

What are fractions of blood?

Fractions of blood are simply smaller components of blood used in treating patients for various conditions.

Here are examples of the types of fractions of blood:

Albumin

  • Manufactured in the liver
  • Distributed through the body via the circulatory system
  • Sometime used to treat shock, or as a volume expander
  • Fractions obtained from the plasma of healthy human donor blood
  • Heat treated and generally considered sterile
  • We already consume it when we eat eggs or meat
  • Moves fluid from other tissues into the blood stream for volume expansion purposes
  • Passes freely between mother and fetus
  • Used in chemically reproduced category of pharmaceutical products
  • If your faith normally objects to a blood transfusion, this is considered a “conscience matter and a fraction.”

Immune Globulins

  • Various proteins that act as antibodies to infection
  • Fractionated from plasma of healthy human donors
  • Pass freely between mother and fetus
  • Used rarely for healthy patients
  • Most are familiar with RhoGAM (which contains immune globulins); given to mothers whose blood is incompatible with their babies (IMPORTANT for Rh-mothers).
  • May theoretically transmit disease, but treated to eliminate contamination where possible
  • If your faith normally objects to a blood transfusion, this is considered a “conscience matter and a fraction.”

Clotting Factors

  • 13 substances produced mostly by the liver
  • Each acts as one step in the process of clotting the blood
  • Only factors VII, VIII, and IX are available by chemically reproduced technology
  • Rare in most people, but some have undetected clotting problems
  • Hemophiliacs are a good example of people lacking one factor
  • Come from plasma and is not sterilized, therefore carries disease risk, like transfusions
  • If your faith normally objects to a blood transfusion, this is considered a “conscience matter and a fraction.”

Platelet, Plasma, or Hemoglobin Derived Agents

  • Hemoglobin-Derived Agents: (sometimes referred to as "artificial blood") have not yet been approved for the health care market in the United States. This is a rapidly developing area of scientific development with new products being developed all the time. Hemoglobin agents may visually appear like blood.
  • Various substances can be isolated from primary components (blood fractions)
  • Some products may be derived from human or animal blood
  • Many plasma-derived substances used in cardiac surgery are used to affect bleeding and may be lifesaving
  • NOTE: Fresh Frozen Plasma or FFP (like platelets and red blood cells) would not be acceptable for those faiths that would refuse blood transfusions.

Tissue Adhesives, Gels, Ointment

  • Used rarely, but topically applied in some types of surgery--such as spinal surgery or total joint replacements--to reduce surface bleeding
  • Some of the products in this category are made by processing certain fractional parts of blood plasma or platelets
  • Some of these products are reproduced chemically without fractions
  • Some of these products appear like a powdery substance until mixed and applied
  • If your faith normally objects to a blood transfusion, this is considered a “conscience matter and a fraction.”

Cryoprecipitate

  • Mix of proteins and substances with fractions from plasma of multiple healthy donors
  • Rich in certain clotting factors
  • Not sterilized, may contain higher disease risk than normal blood transfusion, since it is taken from many donors
  • Given in emergency circumstances when bleeding cannot be controlled by other means
  • Comes from a blood bank
  • Appears as a milky yellow substance
  • If your faith normally objects to a blood transfusion, this is considered a “conscience matter and a fraction.”