Visual assessment guide

The visual assessment guide has been produced for use by hospital and Canadian Blood Services personnel who process and handle blood components for transfusion. This guide describes the variation in appearance of blood components, the conditions that affect the visual appearance of component, and the criteria for acceptability. It should be used in conjunction with local hospital policy and procedures under the direction of the Transfusion Services Medical Director. 

Note: A new version of the Visual Assessment Guide (to be renamed Visual Inspection Tool) is in development and will be available soon. 

The upcoming Visual Inspection Tool will provide updated information on components manufactured or provided by Canadian Blood Services, including components recently implemented by Canadian Blood Services that are not currently covered in the Visual Assessment Guide [i.e., pathogen-reduced platelets (pooled platelet psoralen-treated (PPPT) and apheresis platelet psoralen-treated (APPT)) and pathogen-reduced plasma (solvent detergent treated plasma)]. In the interim, information on these components is available in the resources listed below.

For information about pathogen-reduced platelets, including PPPT and APPT, as well as untreated apheresis platelet in PAS-E:  

For information about solvent detergent (S/D) plasma (Octaplasma), please consult the following resources:


Important information

Hard copies of the visual assessment guide have been provided to each hospital transfusion medicine laboratory. If the guide is printed locally or viewed on-line the pictures may not be color-true.

Visual Assessment Guide