Plastic bag with 0.5–0.7 liters containing packed red blood cells in citrate, phosphate, dextrose, and adenine (CPDA) solution
Scanning electron micrograph of human red blood cells (ca. 6–8 μm in diameter)
Malaria parasite connecting to a red blood cell
The patient receives a blood transfusion through the cannula
There is an immense size variation in vertebrate red blood cells, as well as a correlation between cell and nucleus size. Mammalian red blood cells, which do not contain nuclei, are considerably smaller than those of most other vertebrates.
Main symptoms of malaria
Canned blood during the blood transfusion process
The life cycle of malaria parasites. Sporozoites are introduced by a mosquito bite. They migrate to the liver, where they multiply into thousands of merozoites. The merozoites infect red blood cells and replicate, infecting more and more red blood cells. Some parasites form gametocytes, which are taken up by a mosquito, continuing the life cycle.
Illustration depicting intravenous blood transfusion
Typical mammalian red blood cells: (a) seen from surface; (b) in profile, forming rouleaux; (c) rendered spherical by water; (d) rendered crenate (shrunken and spiky) by salt. (c) and (d) do not normally occur in the body. The last two shapes are due to water being transported into, and out of, the cells, by osmosis.
Micrograph of a placenta from a stillbirth due to maternal malaria. H&E stain. Red blood cells are anuclear; blue/black staining in bright red structures (red blood cells) indicate foreign nuclei from the parasites.
A bag containing one unit of fresh frozen plasma
Scanning electron micrograph of blood cells. From left to right: human red blood cell, thrombocyte (platelet), leukocyte.
Electron micrograph of a Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cell (center), illustrating adhesion protein "knobs"
Illustration of labeled blood bag
Two drops of blood are shown with a bright red oxygenated drop on the left and a deoxygenated drop on the right.
The blood film is the gold standard for malaria diagnosis.
Interpretation of antibody panel to detect patient antibodies towards the most relevant human blood group systems.
Animation of a typical human red blood cell cycle in the circulatory system. This animation occurs at a faster rate (~20 seconds of the average 60-second cycle) and shows the red blood cell deforming as it enters capillaries, as well as the bars changing color as the cell alternates in states of oxygenation along the circulatory system.
Ring-forms and gametocytes of Plasmodium falciparum in human blood
Richard Lower pioneered the first blood transfusion from animal to human in 1665 at the Royal Society.
The most common red blood cell membrane lipids, schematically disposed as they are distributed on the bilayer. Relative abundances are not at scale.
An Anopheles stephensi mosquito shortly after obtaining blood from a human (the droplet of blood is expelled as a surplus). This mosquito is a vector of malaria, and mosquito control is an effective way of reducing its incidence.
James Blundell successfully transfused human blood in 1818.
Red blood cell membrane proteins separated by SDS-PAGE and silverstained
Man spraying kerosene oil in standing water, Panama Canal Zone, 1912
William Stewart Halsted, M.D. (1852–1922) performed one of the first blood transfusions in the United States.
Red blood cell membrane major proteins
Walls where indoor residual spraying of DDT has been applied. The mosquitoes remain on the wall until they fall down dead on the floor.
Dr. Luis Agote (2nd from right) overseeing one of the first safe and effective blood transfusions in 1914
Affected by Sickle-cell disease, red blood cells alter shape and threaten to damage internal organs.
A mosquito net in use.
World War II Russian syringe for direct inter-human blood transfusion
Effect of osmotic pressure on blood cells
An advertisement for quinine as a malaria treatment from 1927.
Alexander Bogdanov established a scientific institute to research the effects of blood transfusion in Moscow, 1925.
Micrographs of the effects of osmotic pressure
Deaths due to malaria per million persons in 2012
British poster of 1944 encouraging people to donate blood for the war effort
Variations of red blood cell shape, overall termed poikilocytosis.
Past and current malaria prevalence in 2009
Wounded soldier being given blood plasma in Sicily, 1943
Ancient malaria oocysts preserved in Dominican amber
Charles R. Drew oversaw the production of blood plasma for shipping to Britain during WW2.
British doctor Ronald Ross received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1902 for his work on malaria.
As the person receives their blood transfusion, the bag slowly gets emptier, leaving behind blood that has clotted before it could be administered.
Chinese medical researcher Tu Youyou received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2015 for her work on the antimalarial drug artemisinin.
Artemisia annua, source of the antimalarial drug artemisinin
U.S. Marines with malaria in a field hospital on Guadalcanal, October 1942
Members of the Malaria Commission of the League of Nations collecting larvae on the Danube delta, 1929
1962 Pakistani postage stamp promoting malaria eradication program
Malaria clinic in Tanzania
Child with malaria in Ethiopia
World War II poster
Disability-adjusted life year for malaria per 100,000 inhabitants in 2004
no data

Early transfusions used whole blood, but modern medical practice commonly uses only components of the blood, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, clotting factors and platelets.

- Blood transfusion

Packed red blood cells (pRBC) are red blood cells that have been donated, processed, and stored in a blood bank for blood transfusion.

- Red blood cell

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that all donated blood be tested for transfusion-transmissible infections. These include HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, Treponema pallidum (syphilis) and, where relevant, other infections that pose a risk to the safety of the blood supply, such as Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas disease) and PlasmodiumPlasmodium species (malaria). According to the WHO, 25 countries are not able to screen all donated blood for one or more of: HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or syphilis. One of the main reasons for this is because testing kits are not always available. However the prevalence of transfusion-transmitted infections is much higher in low income countries compared to middle and high income countries.

- Blood transfusion

In the blood, the merozoites rapidly invade individual red blood cells, replicating over 24–72 hours to form 16–32 new merozoites.

- Malaria

Lipid rafts that have been implicated in cell signaling events in nonerythroid cells have been shown in erythroid cells to mediate β2-adregenic receptor signaling and increase cAMP levels, and thus regulating entry of malarial parasites into normal red cells.

- Red blood cell

Malaria parasites can also be transmitted by blood transfusions, although this is rare.

- Malaria
Plastic bag with 0.5–0.7 liters containing packed red blood cells in citrate, phosphate, dextrose, and adenine (CPDA) solution

2 related topics with Alpha


Blood smear showing iron-deficiency anemia, with small, pale red blood cells.


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Blood smear showing iron-deficiency anemia, with small, pale red blood cells.
Main symptoms that may appear in anemia
The hand of a person with severe anemia (on the left, with ring) compared to one without (on the right)
Figure shows normal red blood cells flowing freely in a blood vessel. The inset image shows a cross-section of a normal red blood cell with normal hemoglobin.
Peripheral blood smear microscopy of a patient with iron-deficiency anemia
A Giemsa-stained blood film from a person with iron-deficiency anemia. This person also had hemoglobin Kenya.

Anemia or anaemia (British English) is a blood disorder in which the blood has a reduced ability to carry oxygen due to a lower than normal number of red blood cells, or a reduction in the amount of hemoglobin.

Preoperative anemia can increase the risk of needing a blood transfusion following surgery.

Causes of increased breakdown include genetic disorders such as sickle cell anemia, infections such as malaria, and certain autoimmune diseases.

Peripheral blood film from a person with delta-beta thalassemia


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Thalassemias are inherited blood disorders characterized by decreased hemoglobin production.

Thalassemias are inherited blood disorders characterized by decreased hemoglobin production.

Peripheral blood film from a person with delta-beta thalassemia
Left: Hand of a person with severe anemia. Right: Hand of a person without anemia.
Thalassemia has an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance.

Often there is mild to severe anemia (low red blood cells or hemoglobin).

Treatment for those with more severe disease often includes regular blood transfusions, iron chelation, and folic acid.

Those who have minor degrees of thalassemia, similar to those with sickle-cell trait, have some protection against malaria, explaining why they are more common in regions of the world where malaria exists.