Background The haemolysis level at the end of storage is a performance parameter for RBC preparations. In the evaluation of new devices or new processes for processing blood, it is relevant to evaluate whether the haemolysis is linked to (1) specific characteristics of the blood donor, or (2) the nature of the blood-processing methodologies.
Materials and Methods As part of the validation of a new automated whole blood processing system compared to the current manual methods, randomized, paired crossover studies were conducted evaluating measures of blood component quality, including RBC haemolysis over 42 days of storage.
Results The association between haemolysis and the individual subject was evaluated by modelling haemolysis with independent predictors of treatment (control and test processing) and leucocyte reduction as fixed factors with donor and laboratory as random effects in a mixed-effects anova model. It was found that the day 42 haemolysis values were strongly dependent on the donor subject, with an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0·81.
Conclusions The data reported in this study suggest a link between the specific whole blood donor and the haemolysis levels observed in red-blood-cell units stored refrigerated for 42 days. Additional research to identify possible donor characteristics associated with haemolysis during storage is warranted.