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Transfus Med. 2014 Aug;24(4):213-8. doi: 10.1111/tme.12126. Epub 2014 Jun 23.

Where did platelets go in 2012? A survey of platelet transfusion practice in the North of England.

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Department of Haematology Newcastle Teaching Hospitals.



To record the fate of transfused platelet doses in the North of England, and thereby assist with demand-planning and help target teaching on appropriate use.


Platelet use has risen recently to the extent that donation practice has changed to meet demand. Two national comparative audits have shown inappropriate use and the 2010 audit concluded that current U.K. guidelines for platelet usage should be completely implemented at a local level. It is necessary to know how platelets are used and by whom in order to facilitate guideline concordance.


All hospital trusts in the North East and Cumbria recorded data on all platelet doses transfused in two separate 4-week periods in 2012. Data were entered onto an electronic survey tool.


One thousand and five hundred and seventy-four reports were received, documenting 1937 transfused doses--96% of total issues for the study periods. One thousand and forty-five platelet doses (54%) were given for haematological indications. The second commonest indication was cardiac surgery (201 doses, 10% of the total) followed by non-haematological oncology (127 doses, 6.5%), critical care (106 doses, 5%) and liver disease (50 doses, 2.5%). The commonest haematological indication was acute myeloid leukaemia, 310 doses, (16% of all platelet use), followed by stem cell transplantation, 271 doses (14%). Seventy-two percent of platelet doses were given prophylactically, the majority without any planned procedure.


The commonest indication for platelet use, where reinforcement of guidelines will be productive, is prophylaxis in haematological disease. Use of platelets in cardiac surgery is also worthy of close scrutiny.


appropriate use; indications; platelets; prophylactic

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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