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Significance of Alsever's Solution

7 March 2017

What is Alsever's Solution?

Alsever’s Solution is a liquid used to as a suspension medium and stabilizer for red blood cells (also called erythrocytes).

The solution contains: 

• 2.0% dextrose.
• 0.8% sodium citrate.
• 0.05% citric acid.
• 0.42% sodium chloride.

How is Alsever's Solution used

The recommended technique for the use of Alsevers Solution:
1. Wash the freshly collected red blood cells twice in PBS or isotonic saline, then wash with the Alsevers Solution.
2. Red cells are suspended to the desired concentration in Alsevers Solution.
3. After resuspending the cells in the Alsever’s Solution, the suspensions should be kept at a temperature of between 2-8 degrees Celsius to ensure they will remain stable for up to 10 weeks.

Red cells that are not freshly collected, shows signs of haemolysis or discoloration may not be able to remain stable for 10 weeks in Alsevers solution.

Role of Alsever's Solution

The solution is routinely used as a blood cell preservative that permits the storage of blood cells at refrigerator temperatures for approximately 10 weeks.
The advantages of using Alsevers Solution is its ability to support antigenic life of red blood cells, enabling its use in red cell screening and identification panels as well as red blood cells drawn for serological investigation.
Precautions and Limitations of Alsevers Solution
Like all solutions, Alsevers Solution has limitations that you need to be aware of:

• The solution should only be used for in-vitro diagnostics purposes only.
• The solution is light sensitive so should be stored in a dark place.
• If the Alsevers solution shows turbidity, it most likely indicates contamination which means the solution should not be used.
• Blood specimens showing signs of hemolysis or contamination should not be suspended in Alsevers solution as it may severely reduce the shelf life of the suspension.
• Bottles or vials of Alsevers solution that are leaking should be discarded.
• For the Alsevers solution to remain stable until the end of the shelf life, the solution should be stored in a fridge between 2 degrees and 8 degrees Celsius.

Where Alsever's Solution is used

Alsever’s Solution is not restricted to human red blood cells; it is also used to preserve red blood cells from animals. Sheep and poultry are the most common animals that have their red blood cells preserved in Alsevers solution.


Lorne Laboratories supplies red cell preserving solutions such as Alsevers solution as well as a range of red cell suspensions such as Reverse grouping cells, 10 cell Identification panels, 3 cell Screening panels and Coombs Control cells, which are all compliant with the UK Red Book Standard.
Contact us to find out more or view our range of Red Cell products today.

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