What's in a bag of cryoprecipitate?

Cryoprecipitate

Cryoprecipitate

Cryoprecipitate is a concentrated blood component made from plasma, usually a cloudy yellow colour.(1)

What is the function of cryoprecipitate?

It contains specific proteins involved in clotting.

Blood clotting proteins found in cryoprecipitate include:(1)

  • Fibrinogen

  • Factor VIII (the protein missing in patients with Haemophilia A)

  • Factor XIII

  • Von Willebrand factor (helps in getting the platelets to stick together)

Why would I receive cryoprecipitate?

Cryoprecipitate is a source of fibrinogen. Fibrinogen is vital to blood clotting.

It is usually used in the treatment of patients with reduced levels of, or poorly functioning, fibrinogen with clinical bleeding, an invasive procedure or trauma.

What are the alternatives?

There are alternatives to receiving a blood transfusion and are used whenever possible.

If you wish to avoid receiving a blood transfusion for religious or personal objections, it is extremely important to talk with your doctor about this.

How is it given?

The transfusion will be given through an IV, also known as a drip, a soft plastic tube in either your arm or hand.

How long does it take?

A cryoprecipitate dose usually includes more than one pack. Each dose is usually given over a 10 to 30 minute period in a stable adult patient.(2)

A dose must not exceed an infusion time of greater than 4 hours.(2)

What are the possible adverse reactions?

Adverse reactions are rare but can occur.

Types of reactions that may be experienced include:(2)

  • Mild allergy: Symptoms can include hives, rash or itching.

  • Febrile: Symptoms can include fever accompanied with chills and shaking.

  • Acute haemolytic: Symptoms can include shaking, fever, pain at the IV site, low blood pressure, unexplained bleeding, fast or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath and decreased urine production.

  • Transfusion-related Acute Lung Injury (TRALI): symptoms can include chills, fever, shortness of breath; respiratory failure and fluid build up in the lungs.

  • Severe allergy: Symptoms can include flushing, wheezing, low blood pressure or anaphylaxis.

  • Septic reaction: Symptoms can include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure and shaking.

You should notify your healthcare professional if you experience any of the symptoms listed above during or after your transfusion.

Where do blood products come from?

All blood components in Australia come from voluntary unpaid donors attending the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

Donors undergo a careful screening process to ensure that is appropriate for them to donate blood.

References

  1. Flores C. I need to know about cryoprecipitate. Australian Red Cross Blood Service, 2010.
  2. BloodSafe. Flippin' Blood – an administration guide. Australia, 2006.
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