BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Platelet transfusions are widely administered to restore perioperative haemostasis in haemorrhagic patients; however, the role of platelet transfusion is not well understood and administration is often based on empiric data. This review aims to explore consensus regarding platelet transfusion trigger, dose and how the haemostatic efficacy of platelet transfusion was assessed for the treatment of perioperative bleeding.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A literature search was carried out using MEDLINE (PubMed) on 28 February 2017, to identify publications reporting the effect of platelet transfusion in relation to triggers, dose and assessment of haemostatic efficacy in bleeding patients in a perioperative setting.
RESULTS: Eight publications were identified across a variety of settings, covering both prophylactic and therapeutic platelet transfusion in adult patients; the majority of the reports were in cardiac surgery. A high degree of variability was observed in the published studies, with only 50% of articles specifying a trigger for platelet transfusion. The most commonly used trigger was platelet count (25% of publications), with no consensus identified regarding the platelet count values used as triggers. Doses reported per transfusion varied from 1 to 12 units, and outcome measures were mixed, although the majority of publications (63%) assessed the requirement for transfusion with other blood products.
CONCLUSION: The lack of consensus in published studies hinders our ability to draw conclusions regarding platelet transfusion and highlights the need for further studies to assess the appropriate dose and triggers for use in perioperative patients.