An update on indications for platelet transfusion
Wood EM., Crighton GM., Estcourt L., McQuilten ZM., Stanworth S.
ABSTRACT: Platelets are very commonly prescribed blood components, and in many settings, their use is increasing. They may be used either prophylactically (to attempt to prevent bleeding) or therapeutically (to treat bleeding when it occurs). This review provides a summary of the major clinical settings in which platelet transfusions are currently used. Most platelet transfusions are provided prophylactically to thrombocytopenic haematology/oncology patients, although bleeding risks and rates appear to vary substantially between individual patients. Other contexts include major haemorrhage, surgery and invasive procedures, and patients in critical care and neonatal intensive care. Since platelet transfusions carry risks and costs, and evidence of benefit for platelet transfusion in many clinical settings is not yet available, additional clinical studies to establish the utility of platelet transfusions and other interventions to prevent or manage bleeding are needed.