Platelets: Red blood cell contamination

Colour legend
Example(s) of typical appearance
Example(s) of a change in appearance

RBC contamination occurs during manufacturing and results from ineffective separation of RBCs and platelets. In accordance with the most recent CSA Standards, Canadian Blood Services visually inspects components for hemolysis prior to placing them into inventory. At the hospital level, current standards do not stipulate an acceptable level of RBC contamination.

Visual appearance 

  • The degree of red discolouration reflects the amount of RBC contamination varying from a light pink tinge to a marked red discolouration.