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Transfus Apher Sci. 2012 Dec;47(3):271-6. doi: 10.1016/j.transci.2012.04.003. Epub 2012 May 28.

Survey of current practice for monitoring and management of platelet refractoriness in Italy.

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Department of Transfusion Medicine, Pescara Civil Hospital, Pescara, Italy.


Platelet transfusion failure is a common phenomenon affecting from 7% to 34% of haematology-oncology patients. Monitoring the efficacy of platelet transfusion through the evaluation of a post-transfusion platelet count and clinical response represent an important guide for subsequent transfusions and for the detection of refractoriness. The aim of this survey was to investigate physicians' attitudes and practices regarding the monitoring of platelet response and the management of platelet refractoriness. An e-mail based survey was conducted among the heads of blood banks with a hemapheresis ward in Italy. Heads of 64 centers out of the 122 initially identified (52%) completed the entire survey. Apheresis, buffy-coat pool, and platelet rich plasma represented an average of 46%, 38% and 17% of the total number of transfusions, respectively. In the prophylaxis of hemorrhagic episodes, most of the centers utilized as standard dose one unit of apheresis platelets (55.7%) and/or one unit of buffy-coat pool platelets (42.6%), while 11.4% of respondents used an average of 6 units of platelet rich plasma. In only 27.9% of the centers was the platelet dose established based on the body weight of the recipient. Only one-third of the centers evaluated the response to platelet transfusion in all patients, while the rate increased to 60% in onco-hematological patients. Among patients transfused on an outpatient basis, the rate dropped to 20%, and a platelet sample taken 10 min after transfusion was generally used. The survey documented a substantial lack of interaction between the clinician requesting the transfusion and the one responsible for the preparation and delivery of the product, with both figures involved in the diagnosis of refractoriness in only one-third of the centers. In conclusion, despite being a frequent condition, platelet refractoriness is still managed with a high degree of heterogeneity and often overlooked. Better adherence to existing guidelines and standard operating procedures, as well as the involvement of transfusion centers in prospective evaluations can help reduce this variability and improve the outcome of transfused patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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