Background: The prevention of the citrate shock should improve the quality of red blood cells (RBCs). We compared a conventional whole blood donation method (CONV) with a ‘Automate for Blood Collection’ (ABC), enabling a metered addition of anticoagulant and hence a correct and constant RBC-to-anticoagulant ratio throughout donation. We evaluated the performance of the ABC device and the storage quality of RBC units. Material and Methods: The study was designed as prospective, paired crossover study with two groups of 20 donors donating first with the ABC or CONV and switching to the alternative method after 12 weeks. We measured the processing data of donations and the storage quality of RBCs on days 1, 28, and 42. Results: ABC whole blood donations showed a slightly higher volume before and after filtration. ABC-derived RBC units revealed higher values for haematocrit, mean cellular volume, potassium and lower values for mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration and sodium until day 42. They further showed faster glucose consumption and lactate production until day 28. Conclusion: The ABC device is suitable for whole blood collection. The quality of the obtained RBCs is comparable to that of CONV. Avoiding the citrate shock by the described method did not improve the investigated RBC storage quality parameters.

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