Platelet transfusions for patients with haematological malignancies: who needs them?
Estcourt LJ., Stanworth SJ., Murphy MF.
The goal of platelet transfusions is to prevent severe and life-threatening bleeding in patients with thrombocytopenia. This aim needs to be balanced against the risks associated with platelet transfusions as well as the challenge of maintaining an adequate supply. This review summarizes the recent evidence regarding the clinical use of platelet transfusions in haematology patients, concentrating on the topics that still continue to provoke debate. These include the optimal dose for platelet transfusions and the relative safety of a 'therapeutic only' platelet transfusion strategy compared to the use of prophylactic platelet transfusions. The type of platelet product has been the subject of two recent systematic reviews. The results of these reviews will be discussed as well as their implications for current practice.