An update on solutions for red cell storage


: John R. Hess, MD, MPH, Professor of Pathology and Medicine, Blood Bank, N2W50a, University of Maryland Medical Center, 22 South Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 20817, USA E-mail:


Anticoagulant and nutrient solutions allow red blood cells to be stored and transported, enabling modern blood banking. The development of these solutions has been slow, covering 90 years, and the reasons for past formulations are best understood in a historical context. Modern red cell storage solutions work well for blood banks, allowing 5–7-week storage, which means more than 90% of collected units find a recipient. Improved scientific understanding of the red cell storage lesion has shown a way to make even better storage solutions, which maintain red cell metabolism and reduce membrane loss.