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Neonatology. 2015;107(1):1-7. doi: 10.1159/000365163. Epub 2014 Oct 4.

Neonatal thrombocytopenia and platelet transfusion - a UK perspective.

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Department of Haematology, Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, King's College London, London, UK.


Five percent of newborn infants admitted to UK neonatal units during a recent study developed a platelet count <60 × 10(9)/l, and 60% of these were transfused platelets. This review summarises the common causes and mechanisms of thrombocytopenia in the newborn. Relevant evidence relating the platelet count to the risk of haemorrhage is reviewed, and current UK guidance on transfusion thresholds outlined. The UK policy for the provision of platelets for transfusion to neonates is described, including the particular requirements for neonatal allo-immune thrombocytopenia. Finally, we look towards the future and prospects for reducing the need to expose newborns to donor-derived platelets.

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