Asian Journal of Transfusion Science
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 8-11
Platelet audit: Assessment and utilization of this precious resource from a tertiary care hospital


Department of Transfusion Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

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   Abstract 

Background: To assess the appropriate utilization of platelet transfusions [random donor platelets (RDP) and single donor platelets (SDP)]; a six-month retrospective audit was carried out in a tertiary care hospital. Materials and Methods: A six-month retrospective platelet audit was carried out from May to October 2005 to estimate its preparation, appropriate utilization and wastage rate. Patient's demographics, transfusion triggers and episodes and ABO and Rh (D) group specific or non-group specific transfusions were also assessed. Results: About 5525 units of platelets [PRP-PC, 3,813 (69%); BC-PC, 983 (17.8%); PRP, 648 (11.7%) and SDP 81 (1.5%)] were prepared and transfused to 853 patients (RDP to 814 patients and SDP to 39 patients) in 2,093 transfusion episodes. Adult and pediatric hemato-oncology were the main user specialties utilizing 39.1 and 87.6% of the RDPs and SDPs prepared. Of the patients receiving RDPs, 95% were transfused ABO and Rh (D) group specific platelets whereas 100% SDPs transfusions were of group specific platelets. 88% of prophylactic platelet transfusions were appropriate as per the recommended BCSH guidelines. However, 12% of the prophylactic platelets were transfused inappropriately in cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) surgeries with normal platelet counts and no evidence of bleeding related to platelets. Out of 5,444 RDPs prepared 1,585 (29.11%) units were not utilized. Conclusions: Regular audit of blood and blood components is a must so that necessary remedial measures can be taken to maximize appropriate and judicious utilization of each component.

Keywords: Appropriate utilization, platelet transfusion, transfusion audit

How to cite this article:
Saluja K, Thakral B, Marwaha N, Sharma R R. Platelet audit: Assessment and utilization of this precious resource from a tertiary care hospital. Asian J Transfus Sci 2007;1:8-11

How to cite this URL:
Saluja K, Thakral B, Marwaha N, Sharma R R. Platelet audit: Assessment and utilization of this precious resource from a tertiary care hospital. Asian J Transfus Sci [serial online] 2007 [cited 2017 Mar 26];1:8-11. Available from: http://www.ajts.org/text.asp?2007/1/1/8/28066


Transfusion of components derived from human blood underpins modern medicine. Blood component therapy has benefited many patients by meeting their specific transfusion needs from a single blood donation. However, despite having various guidelines for platelet transfusion therapy both internationally[1],[2],[3],[4] and nationally,[5] noncompliance to these are frequently seen. This inappropriate use occurs as the level of awareness among clinicians varies significantly. Unnecessary allogeneic component exposure poses threat to transfusion transmitted infections (TTI), alloimmunization and platelet refractoriness. Also ignorance regarding platelet handling, storage, transfusions across ABO and Rh (D) barrier and transfusion triggers has led to wastage of this perishable blood component.

Transfusion audits are important tools to reduce inappropriate transfusions in patients, while continuously improving practice guidelines, encouraging consultation with prescribers and identifying areas of further improvement. We conducted a retrospective platelet audit to asses its preparation, appropriate utilization, and wastage at our Institute.


   Materials and Methods Top


Definition of terms and calculations:

  1. Random donor platelet (RDP): A platelet unit that is prepared from a single blood unit (350 ml/450 ml). It can be either in form of platelet-rich plasma-platelet concentrate (PRP-PC), buffy coat-reduced platelet concentrate (BC-PC) or platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
  2. Single donor apheresis platelet (SDP): A platelet unit that is prepared from a single donor with the aid of automated cell separator having a platelet dose equivalent to 4-6 RDPs.
  3. Transfusion episode: Each transfusion event in which a patient was transfused 1-5 RDP units simultaneously or a SDP.
  4. Expired unit: A platelet unit that was discarded because its maximum allowable storage time was reached (synonym: outdated unit)
  5. Wasted unit: A platelet unit that was discarded prior to its expiration date due to undesired change in physical appearance (gross red blood cells contamination, lipaemia, clot or gas formation), bag rupture or leakage during component preparation, loss of swirling or mishandling during storage (deviation from prescribed temperature range).
  6. Reactive unit: A platelet unit that was discarded after being found to be reactive for either anti HIV I/II, anti HCV, HBsAg, VDRL or malaria.
  7. Expiration rate: The expiration rate was calculated as follows.

    No. of expired units of platelets 100

    No. of units of platelet concentrates prepared


  8. Wastage rate: The wastage rate was calculated as follows.

    No. of wasted units of platelets 100

    No. of units of platelet concentrates prepared


A 6-month retrospective platelet audit was carried out from May to October 2005 in the Department of Transfusion Medicine, at the Institute, which is a tertiary care 1400-bedded hospital running various specialties and super-specialties. Annually, we prepare around 62,000 blood/blood components, receive 48,000 blood/blood component requisitions and issue 55,000 blood/blood components to cater to our patient's needs.

Before conducting the audit, a resident manual on 'Guidelines for blood and blood components: Preparation, storage and its administration' was released in September 2004 for educating all clinicians and nursing staff of the Institute. The manual is also issued to all new resident doctors enrolling for various specialties and super-specialties in the Institute. We follow platelet transfusion guidelines laid down by the British Committee for Standards in Haematology (BCSH)[1] [Table - 1]. As per the standards, the department is following the policy of transfusing ABO and Rh (D) group-specific platelet transfusions and recommending Rh IgG immunoprophylaxis in Rh (D) negative woman of child-bearing potential where Rh (D) positive platelet transfusions were warranted.[1] At our centre, platelet transfusion policy for selection of ABO group-specific platelets is shown in [Table - 2].

The audit was planned as shown in [Figure - 1]. The data for monthly platelet preparation (PRP-PC, BC-PC, PRP and SDP) was obtained from departmental records. Random donor platelets were stored for a maximum period of 3 days and SDP for 5 days (as per storage bags available) at 222oC with continuous horizontal, gentle agitation (705 oscillations/min) in a platelet incubator-cum-agitator. Patient's information regarding their age, gender, specialty, platelet counts, transfusion episodes, therapeutic or prophylactic transfusion and ABO and Rh (D) group specific or non-group specific was obtained from requisition forms and platelet issue record registers. The data regarding platelet wastage (undesirable physical appearance, leaks or bag rupture, TTI reactive) and expiry was analyzed from departmental records to calculate expiry rate and wastage rate. One percent of the platelets prepared/month or 10 units/month, whichever was more, was taken for quality control parameters. Appropriateness of platelet transfusions was assessed according to guidelines shown in [Table - 1] and utilization pattern for various specialties and super-specialties was noted.


   Results Top


During 6-month study period, 5,525 units of platelets [PRP-PC, 3,813 (69%); BC-PC, 983 (17.8%); PRP, 648 (11.7%) and SDP 81 (1.5%)] were prepared. These units were transfused to 853 patients (RDP to 814 patients and SDP to 39 patients) in 2,093 transfusion episodes. Out of 853 patients, 68 were transfused with both RDP and SDP during their hospital stay. The patient demographics (age, gender, and indications) and utilization pattern of RDP and SDP according to various clinical specialties and super-specialties is shown in [Table - 3]. The mean ABO group specific RDP usage/patient (range) was 4.94 (1-42) unit(s) and average RDP transfusion/episode (range) was 1.91 (1-5) unit(s). 73.8% of the RDPs were utilized for therapeutic indications whereas SDPs were transfused for prophylactic indications in 77.8% of cases. Adult and pediatric hemato-oncology were the main user specialties utilizing 39.1 and 87.6% of the RDPs and SDPs prepared. In patients receiving RDPs, 742 (91.1%) were transfused ABO and Rh (D) group specific platelets whereas 100% SDP transfusions were of group specific platelets. Of the 3,859 RDPs transfused, 193 (5%) were given across the ABO barrier in 72 patients. The pattern of ABO nongroup specific RDP utilization is shown in [Figure - 2]. It was observed that B group platelets were transfused in 65% of O and 77.8% of AB group patients when ABO group specific platelets were not available in the inventory. 73% of platelets were transfused prophylactically to patients either with platelet count <10,000/ml without additional risk factors or platelets counts <20,000/ml with additional risk factors (fever, sepsis, concurrent use of antibiotics, on chemo/radio therapy or other abnormalities of haemostasis) as shown in [Figure - 3]. 88% of prophylactic platelet transfusions were appropriate as per the recommended BCSH guidelines. However, 12% of the prophylactic platelets were transfused inappropriately in cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) surgeries with normal platelet counts and no evidence of bleeding related to platelets. Drug history was not documented in these requisitions, but platelets counts were available from the requisition forms.

Out of 5,444 RDPs prepared 1,585 (29.11%) units were not utilized. About 60 units (1.1%) out of these were subjected to quality control, 104 units (1.9%) were found to be TTI reactive, 287 units (5.27%) were of undesirable physical characteristics (gross red blood cell contamination, lipaemia, clot or gas formation, bag rupture or leakage during component preparation or loss of swirling) and 1,134 units (20.8%) got expired due to nonutilization during storage period. 100% of the SDP prepared were utilized. The expiry rate and wastage rate of both RDP and SDP is shown in [Table - 3].


   Discussion Top


In India, majority of blood banks are individual hospital-based and noncentralized. Blood banks perform the roles of both blood collection and transfusion centre unlike in the west, where a large blood collection and component preparation centre meets the demands of various hospital based transfusion medicine departments in its vicinity. In India, only 20% of the blood banks are preparing blood components which are grossly inadequate to cater growing patient demands.[6] Out of these, very few centers in India perform component preparation through apheresis technology or pool platelets concentrates to administer correct dose to their thrombocytopenic patients.

During the last two decades all over the world platelet utilization has increased more than the use of any other blood components.[1],[4],[7] On one hand, the ready availability of platelet concentrates has undoubtedly made a major contribution to modern clinical practice, in allowing the development of intense treatment regimens for hematological or other malignancies;[8] on the other hand misuse due to mishandling or inappropriate use is also prevalent. We found that 88% of the platelet transfusions were utilized appropriately with hemato-oncology specialty as the major user department. This high percentage of appropriate use of platelet transfusions was seen after educating the residents by direct interactions and release of educational material in the form of resident manual. In our study, we found that in 12% of cases platelets were inappropriately transfused in patients who underwent CPB and had a platelet count >100,000/ml with no clinical evidence of bleed due to platelet dysfunction. Most surgeons performing CPB have a common practice of transfusing 3-4 units of fresh frozen plasma and 2-3 units of platelets peri-operatively without any definitive indication. Similar findings of inappropriate use of platelets are reported by Hui et al[9] and Cheng et al[10] However, prospective randomized trials have demonstrated no clinically significant benefit in terms of decrease in blood loss, platelet count, bleeding time, transfusion requirements or postoperative hospital stay in CPB patients who received prophylactic platelet transfusions.[11],[12] Recently BCSH guidelines has also recommended that prophylactic platelet transfusions should not be routinely administered following CPB unless in patients who are experiencing post-operative bleeding and in whom a surgical cause of bleed has been excluded.[1]

Platelet concentrates are the most perishable blood component because of their storage at room temperature and thus the associated risk of bacterial growth at this temperature particularly beyond the shelf-life of 5 days.[13],[14] In our study, we encountered expiry rate of 20.83% (1,134 units) out of 5,444 RDP units prepared. This is in sharp contrast to expiry rates of 5.8-6.4% quoted by Q-Probes study while evaluating 1,639 hospitals throughout United States.[15] This is because in our transfusion center we prepare as well as issue blood components to various clinical specialties whereas in Q-Probes study, expiry rate was calculated from units which were received by hospitals from collection centers and were not utilized during the prescribed time interval. However, no data were shown on those units, which were prepared by the collection centres according to their demand and not distributed to transfusion centres during prescribed shelf-life. Apart from this there is no other study found in literature commenting on expiry of platelet units. The mean ABO group specific RDP usage/episode was low in our study. This was because of non-acceptance by physicians in transfusing platelets across the ABO barrier, which contributed to high expiry rate. The availability of bags permitting storage of platelets up to 3 days is also a major contributing factor for high expiry rate in our study.

In order to minimize wastage and expiry rate, transfusion of ABO incompatible platelets is permissible though it is always recommended to transfuse ABO group specific platelets.[1] ABO nonidentical platelet transfusions have been associated with poorer platelet count increments in some studies,[16],[17] but this is usually not clinically significant in terms of the hemostatic effectiveness of platelet transfusions. At our center, we had 5% of ABO non-group specific platelet transfusions especially when there was a therapeutic need and platelets were in short supply. We had a maximum of B group platelet transfusions when transfusing across the ABO blood group barrier as B group represents 38% of our total blood collection.[18]

This retrospective platelet audit had enlightened us regarding our existing platelet preparation, utilization and transfusion policies. Several measures have been considered to reduce high expiration rate. Firstly, performing ABO and Rh (D) grouping at the time of Hb estimation during donor screening, so that particular donor unit can be directed either for FFP-PC or cryoprecipitate-CPP preparation to maintain platelet inventory. Secondly, procurement of blood bags which permit shelf-life of platelets up to five days. Thirdly, continuous education of clinicians and nursing staff regarding platelets transportation and storage and transfusion of non-group specific platelets when there is short supply of group specific platelets.


   Conclusion Top


Regular audit of blood and blood components is a must so that necessary remedial measures can be taken to maximize appropriate and judicious utilization of each component.

 
   References Top

1.British Committee for Standards in Haematology, Blood Transfusion Task Force. Guidelines for the use of platelet transfusions. Br J Haematol 2003;122:10-23.  Back to cited text no. 1  [PUBMED]  
2.American Association of Blood Banks. Blood Transfusion Therapy: A physician's handbook. 7th ed. American Association of Blood Banks: Bethesda MD; 2002.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and Australian Society of Blood Transfusion. Clinical Practice Guidelines: Appropriate Use of Red Blood Cells, Fresh Frozen Plasma, Platelets: 2001. Available from: URL: http://www.nhmrc.gov.au  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Schiffer CA, Anderson KC, Bennett CL, Bernstein S, Elting LS, Goldsmith M, et al . Platelet transfusion for patients with cancer: Clinical practice guidelines of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. J Clin Oncol 2001;19:1519-38.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.National AIDS Control Organization. Guidelines for the appropriate use of blood. New Delhi: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Government of India: 1997.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.An action plan for blood safety. National AIDS Control Organization, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Government of India: 2003. p. 10-1.   Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Wallace EL, Churchill WH, Surgenor DM, Cho GS, McGurk S. Collection and transfusion of blood and blood components in the United States, 1994. Transfusion 1998;38:625-36.  Back to cited text no. 7  [PUBMED]  
8.Freireich EJ. Supportive care for patients with blood disorders. Br J Haematol 2000;111:68-77.  Back to cited text no. 8  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
9.Hui CH, Williams I, Davis K. Clinical audit of the use of fresh-frozen plasma and platelets in a tertiary teaching hospital and the impact of a new transfusion request form. Int Med J 2005;35:283-8.  Back to cited text no. 9  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
10.Cheng G, Wong HF, Chan A, Chui CH. The effects of a self-educating blood component request form and enforcements of transfusion guidelines on FFP and platelet usage. Clin Lab Haematol 1996;18:83-7.  Back to cited text no. 10  [PUBMED]  
11.Harding SA, Shakoor MA, Grindon AJ. Platelet support for cardiopulmonary bypass surgery. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 1975;70:350-3.  Back to cited text no. 11  [PUBMED]  
12.Simon TL, Akl BF, Murphy MP. Controlled trial of routine administration of platelet concentrates in cardiopulmonary bypass surgery. Ann Thorac Surg 1987;37:359-64.  Back to cited text no. 12    
13.Heal JM, Singal S, Sardisco E, Mayer T. Bacterial proliferation in platelet concentrates. Transfusion 1986;26:388-90.  Back to cited text no. 13  [PUBMED]  
14.Braine HG, Kickler TS, Charache P, Ness PM, Davis J, Reichart C, et al . Bacterial sepsis secondary to platelet transfusions: An adverse effect of extended storage at room temperature. Transfusion 1986;26:391-3.   Back to cited text no. 14    
15.Novis DA, Renner S, Friedberg RC, Walsh MK, Saladino AJ. Quality indicators of fresh frozen plasma and platelet utilization. Arch Pathol Lab Med 2002;126:527-32.  Back to cited text no. 15  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
16.Lee EJ, Schiffer CA. ABO incompatibility can influence the results of platelet transfusions. Results of a randomized trial. Transfusion 1989;29:384-9.  Back to cited text no. 16    
17.Heal JM, Rowe JM, McMican A, Masel D, Fuike C, Blumberg N. The role of ABO matching in platelet transfusion. Eur J Haematol 1993;50:110-7.  Back to cited text no. 17    
18.Thennarasu K, Agnihotri SK, Kumar S. Estimation of blood group phenotypes and gene frequency in North West Indian population. Bull PGI 1999;33:103-5.  Back to cited text no. 18    

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Correspondence Address:
N Marwaha
Department of Transfusion Medicine, PGIMER, Chandigarh - 160 012
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-6247.28066

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    Figures

[Figure - 1], [Figure - 2], [Figure - 3]

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[Table - 1], [Table - 2], [Table - 3]

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2006 - Asian Journal of Transfusion Science | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
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